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Knight Riders yearn for an encore

cricket Updated: May 03, 2009 15:35 IST
HT Sports Bureau
HT Sports Bureau
Hindustan Times
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They have played together for India for more than a decade. But to see Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble square off against each other in cricket's most tricky format is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Mumbai marathon

The Mumbai Indians top-order may have looked a tad rusty in the last match, but no side can afford to ignore the destructive opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya. Both batsmen are in ominous form and have torn apart opposition attacks. The team will be hoping for another explosive start from the duo to take the pressure off the middle-order batsmen. JP Duminy has provided a much-needed boost with the bat in the middle and much will depend on Zaheer Khan and the talismanic Lasith Malinga in the bowling department.

Royal touch

Anil Kumble may have lent RCB the winning touch in his first game as skipper, but the team's batting woes continue. The lack of form of both Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa is hurting the team and Jacques Kallis, too, is not in great touch. Kumble will be desperately hoping to get Dale Steyn back soon, but the South African fast bowler is still struggling with a thumb injury.

Seeking revenge

They might have been stunned by RCB, but Kings XI Punjab will look to make amends against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday. After losing the first two matches the Kings XI scored a hat-trick of wins-against RCB, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians-but were pipped to the post by Vijay Mallya's men in Friday's match. Yuvraj's return to form is good news for his side and Yusuf Abdulla will once again hold the key in the bowling department.

Clueless knights

Nothing has clicked for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL-II. It can get only worse for the side if they don't buck up and win a game or two. While skipper Brendon McCullum has struggled with the bat, the rest of the top-order has also looked fragile despite some big names in the side.