Given the unpredictable nature of T20 and the unknown factor surrounding the clash between a team rejuvenated and one that’s still unseen this season, it’s difficult to zero in on the pros and cons. What’s certain is that after Friday’s hard fought win of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Eden Gardens will be brimming to capacity on Sunday when they take on Bangalore Royal Challengers.
The stadium can host about 44,000 after its capacity has been reduced almost to half due to renovation work, but all those seats will be full and there will be thousands in the stands sporting the team colours and swinging to Korbo Lorbo Jitbo Re (will do, fight and win).
The invigorating song had lost punch over two years of heartbreak and now, Kolkata is set to go all out in rooting for its Knights.
Because it’s too early in the day, it’s difficult to discuss the game as such but even on a high, the Knight Riders know concerns remain at the top of the order. At the same time, they will be confident in the knowledge that they can win, something they were beginning to forget. Bowling well under pressure will be another fillip.
Not much is known about last year’s losing finalists Royal Challengers yet because they are here with just four foreigners — Dale Steyn, Dillon Du Preez, Roelof van der Merwe and Eoin Morgan — with Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher joining the team late on Saturday night. But they have a string of fine Indian batting talent under Rahul Dravid. Dale Steyn leads the pace pack comprising Praveen Kumar and Ranji Trophy revelations R. Vinay Kumar and A. Mithun.