Both the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals have warmed up to this head-to-head clash by defeating the Delhi Daredevils,although in contrasting ways. While the defending champions won the season opener at the Eden Gardens quite comfortably,Rajasthans victory at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday was a last-over affair. But Rajasthans full points seem to have come at a price.
Rajasthan captain Rahul Dravid,who was their topscorer in Saturdays game,didnt field for the better part of Delhis innings. While Dravid didnt look he had been away from competitive cricket for one year as made 65 off 51 balls,his 40-year-old body betrayed hints of vulnerability. It was severe bout of cramps. I will do everything to play the next match (against KKR) but I need to see that how I get up and if theres any stiffness, said the 40-year-old Dravid.
But even as doubts remain on his availability,the hosts will be bolstered by the presence Shane Watson,their trump card in the first season who missed the first game.
On the other hand,Kolkata will be firing on all cylinders. Against Delhi,though admittedly they were chasing a modest 129,skipper Gautam Gambhir,Jacques Kallis,Manoj Tiwary,Eoin Morgan and Yusuf Pathan,all showed their potential.
However,its their bowling,especially mystery spinner Sunil Narine,that could pose the biggest threat to the hosts. Narine,who took four for 13 against Delhi,is one of the most dangerous bowlers in T20,having taken 82 wickets in 64 games at 15.34,28 of those in the Pepsi IPL.
In the pace department,Australian veteran Brett Lee,doubling up as a bowling mentor in absence of Wasim Akram,will spearhead the attack.