IPL 2013 preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royalshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/ipl-2013-preview-kolkata-knight-riders-vs-rajasthan-royals/

IPL 2013 preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals

Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders have looked out-of-sorts in the IPL 2013 so far.

The defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders have looked out-of-sorts in the IPL 2013 so far,and will look to capitalise on Rajasthan Royals’ away woes when the teams lock horns at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata today.

After winning only three out of their ten fixtures,Kolkata have got them into a situation where they can’t afford any more complacency. Occupying the lower half of the points table,Kolkata need a consistent show to make upward progress.

Rajasthan,on the other hand,have got their act right in the tournament,but need to improve on their away record. 

All their three defeats have come away,and now with the current standings,Rajasthan need this win to serve a timely reminder to Royal Challengers Bangalore,who are in the second position,that they are not too far behind.

The special Samson

Rahul Dravid and the team management’s decision to promote young Sanju Samson up the order not only helped their side’s cause,but served the viewers and spectators with some elegant strokeplay. The ease at which he operated was commendable. One of the highlights of his splendid knock was the back-to-back sixes off left-arm spinner Murali Kartik’s bowling.

He timed it to perfection and got the distance on two occasions. The second hit was almost an action replay of the first one. What a find!

Sunil Narine – decoded

The West Indian is no longer the threat he used to be. Teams have found a way to avoid his mystery,and are succeeding in their efforts. One of the reasons of Narine’s success was the batsman going after his bowling. He is a difficult bowler to score runs off,but not impossible to play out for four overs. 

With enough scoring opportunities from the other end,teams don’t mind playing out Narine’s mystery. Delhi Daredevils did it successfully in their last fixture. They scored only 14 from Narine’s four,but ensured not to lose any wicket in the process. Bowlers were leaking runs from the other end,so not much damage was done by Narine’s tight spell.  

Poor fielding

Kolkata were poor in the field in their last fixture against the Delhi in Raipur. The standards they exhibited were just not up to the mark. If skipper Gautam Gambhir dropping a comfortable sitter was not enough,Sumit Narwal did one step better by spilling one in the third-man region. He had all the time in the world,but failed to get his hands under the ball. 

If they wish to stay in play-offs’ contention,fielding needs more than fine-tuning. A good catch or an incredible run-out can’t only change the course of the match,but do wonders to dipping morals.

Brendon McCullum released

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The decision of franchises to release New Zealand players for their upcoming Test series against England will hurt the Kolkata unit. They were struggling to get their batting in place,and McCullum’s presence would have bolstered an ordinary looking batting unit. Now with McCullum not available,will the team management pick Ryan ten Doeschate? Or continue with Brett Lee?

Form guide

Kolkata Knight Riders LLWLL

Rajasthan Royals WWLLW

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