IPL 2017 Preview: In-form Kolkata Knight Riders look to continue winning streak against depleted Gujarat Lions

Gautam Gambhir-led Kolkata Knight Riders will lock horns with Suresh Raina's Gujarat Lions in Kolkata.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 21, 2017 11:28 am
IPL 2017 Preview, IPL 2017 Preview news, IPL 2017 Preview updates, KKR vs GL, Gujarat Lions vs Kolkata Knight Riders, KKR GL, Kolkata Gujarat, sports news, sports, cricket news, Cricket, Indian Express KKR take on Gujarat Lions in Kolkata.

The Kolkata Knight Riders are set to take on Gujarat Lions in the only clash of the day at the Eden Gardens and the kind of form this Gautam Gambhir-led side has been in is just impeccable. With 8 points and four win in five matches, KKR have unfolded some fascinating wins so far in the contest. Be it in their own backyard or be it travelling outside Kolkata, the side has produced top notch performances.

TeamsMWLDPNRR
MI14104020+0.784
KXIP1495018+0.176
SH1485017+0.599
KKR1486016+0.641
KXIP1477014-0.009
DD1468012-0.512
GL1441008-0.412
RCB1431007-1.299

Gujarat Lions on the other side are struggling to gain momentum. The last season’s table toppers are sitting right at the bottom in the points table with just one win under their belt. While Kolkata would be seeking to continue their winning streak, Gujarat must be looking to turn fortunes at the Eden gardens.

The last time when the two teams met, Kolkata Knight Riders demolished Gujarat Lions and grabbed a thumping 10-wicket win over them in Rajkot. Skipper Gautam Gambhir and opener Chris Lynn produced an unbeaten and record partnership of 184 runs where Lynn remained unbeaten at 93 while Gambhir returned with at 76*. The Kolkata team would be looking to continue with the kind of game play they showed in Rajkot while Gujarat would be seeking a revenge when they visit Kolkata.

What’s in the kitty

Manish Pandey’s sublime form and consistency with the bat has proved clinical for the Kolkata Knight Riders while the knock in the last match from Yusuf Pathan also proved handy. The batting department seems to be pretty balanced for KKR while the bowling too isn’t a major concern. With the kind of behaviour that the Eden track has shown, the KKR side can continue with the same bowling line up with some minor changes.

Kuldeep Yadav returned with figures of 25/2 in 4 overs when Kolkata last took on Gujarat. Though, he looked a bit out of form in the last game he played, Kuldeep still has the ability of causing problems in the opposition camp with his bowling.
(Results | Fixtures | Points Table)

For Gujarat Lions, it is going to be a tough call to make to pick their best XI. The batting performance in the last game showed that the Gujarat side are capable of handling pressure but the bowling has become a cause of concern for them. Brendon McCullum has given good starts to Gujarat in the previous games too while stepping up of youngsters like Ishan Kishan is an added advantage to their line up as far as the batting is concerned.

Apart from the two, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik gave a solid partnership in the last match they played against KKR. Raina went on to register a half century while Karthik extracted 25 balls for his 47 runs. Karthik so far has been a decent customer for the Lions in the competition and would be looking to replicate his previous outing at the Eden Gardens.

Limitations

Kolkata Knight Riders don’t really need to make changes but an alteration in the bowling department might be seen in this upcoming game.

Gujarat Lions need some extra ordinary stuff from their bowling line up. Failure of bowlers like Ravindra Jadeja and Andrew Tye with the ball proved costly for the Suresh Raina-led side in the last game when they leaked runs at a huge economy rate.

Players to watch out

Sunil Narine’s economical bowling against Delhi Darevdevils did a lot of damage and restricted them to a lesser total while Manish Pandey’s current form makes him a batsman to watch out for. On the other hand,  Brendon McCullum’s batting has been aesthetic while Ishan Kishan’s display with the willow in the last game showed his abilities and how the youngster can take on any bowling attack make the two batsmen enter the list.

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