With Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar uncertain to play with a knee problem, Kolkata team face a do-or-die situation to keep alive their fading semi-final hopes as they meet the in-form Jaipur in an Indian Premier League match in Kolkata on Monday.
The Jaipur team, the most inexpensive side in the tournament bought by their franchisee owners for $67 millions, have emerged as the surprise package of the meet and are now sitting pretty at the top after sealing a last four slot.
Having triumphed in eight of their 10 outings, Jaipur have so far collected a whopping 16 points, to leave behind close challengers Mohali(14 from 10) and Chennai (14 from 11).
Knight Riders now occupy the sixth position, with 10 points from 11 games, and need to win each of their three remaining league matches to make a strong bid for the semi- final cut-off.
The Sourav Ganguly-led side has played inconsistently in the tournament and the defeat in the last two games has greatly dimmed their chances.
Besides, speedster Shoaib's knee injury also seems to be giving sleepless nights to the team management ahead of the Eden Gardens tie.
He came to the tournament underprepared. Here, he has given his 100 per cent. But his keen is a problem now. We will monitor him for the next couple of days to see when he can play, said Kolkata coach John Buchanan.