Andrew Flintoff being ruled out of the IPL has cast a shadow over our game against the Kolkata Knight Riders. I would lie if I said that this is not a blow to our team but we must regroup quickly.
Strengths: They have dynamic batsmen like Brad Hodge, who has played a lot of T20 cricket, and of course Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum. One also has to be wary of Sourav Ganguly.
Weaknesses: If the top three get out early, it can expose their batting a bit. They are not as explosive in the bowling as they are in batting.
Opportunities: We have to get early wickets and make sure that we are bowling at their bowlers, as Gayle and McCullum are capable of hitting down the track.
Threats: Matthew Hayden and Parthiv Patel can exploit their slightly inexperienced bowling.
Strengths: Matthew Hayden and Parthiv Patel have given us good starts in every match. And we have a very sharp skipper in MS Dhoni.
Weaknesses: We have to improve our ability to bowl at the death. We need to be accurate: this is what made the difference against Mumbai and Delhi.
Opportunities: We have to save wickets and not be rash so that Albie Morkel and Jacob Oram, get the chance to hit hard towards the end.
Threats: Will come mainly from Chris and Brendon, who have the ability to expose any bowling attack.