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Motera ready for a Gayle storm

The city's maiden tryst with the IPL has been a fantastic experience so far, and even though Rajasthan Royals, the home team, have failed to live up to expectations, the visiting teams have stepped in to fill the vacuum.

cricket Updated: Mar 19, 2010 23:52 IST
Bivabasu Kumar

The city's maiden tryst with the IPL has been a fantastic experience so far, and even though Rajasthan Royals, the home team, have failed to live up to expectations, the visiting teams have stepped in to fill the vacuum.

After a swashbuckling innings from Virender Sehwag, Ahmedabad is bracing itself for a Gayle storm to sweep through Motera when the Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Royals on Saturday.

Popular for his big-hitting prowess, Gayle is a much-loved cricketer, and after his IPL heroics, his prowess as a T20 batsman precedes his fame as a Test cricketer. But Gayle seemed unperturbed by the hype and went about his work with a distinct calmness.

Coming to the match, the Knight Riders are clear favourites considering their strength in batting and discipline in the bowling attack.

Gayle's entry will prop up the batting while Shane Bond's raw pace is the kind of venom they need to rattle the opposition. But with just four foreigners allowed per team, Sourav Ganguly will have to make a wise choice.

Missing his key players (Graeme Smith and Dimitri Mascarenhas) through injury, Shane Warne is left with limited resources to bounce back after losing three games on the trot. Inconsistent batting and wayward bowling are two major crippling factors. Big names like Shaun Tait and Morne Morkel have leaked bucketful of runs and Damien Martyn and Michael Lumb yet to find their feet.

But with Warne around, there is still a chance. And as long as the wizard of spin doesn't give up, the match is on.