The more venomous creatures lie ahead as the Kolkata Knight Riders approach the home stretch of a competition, which has been a snake and ladder game for them. Four wins out of nine means they have to win four of the remaining five to stand a chance of making progress.
The Knights need something they have not done before. They have never won so many matches in the frequency required and awaiting them now are teams placed above them. With six wins in nine, the Delhi Daredevils are up next.
That two of their illustrious batsmen — T Dilshan and A.B. DeVilliers — are in the dugout gives an idea of what they possess in batting. The pace department isn't the strongest, but they have efficient spinners in Daniel Vettori and Amit Mishra. There was grip in the wicket in the previous night match played at the Eden Gardens.
The difference between the teams is the number of performing Indians. Several Daredevils’ key players are homegrown and the Knights are behind on this count. There are at least three liabilities in the XI and they have not found the suitable options after trying out a number of them.
Also, they have not utilised the full value of David Hussey the batsman, who has had too few chances to play a substantial number of deliveries. For some strange reason, Tamil Nadu all-rounder Ganapathi Vignesh keeps getting ignored despite a good batting record in the ICL. Although they have bowled well as a unit in the matches they won, KKR have depended heavily on individuals in batting. In contrast, Daredevils have got runs from everybody, including the unknown Kedar Jadhav.
Gautam Gambhir is due for a big one after returning from injury and everybody knows how emphatically the Kings XI Punjab batsmen returned to form against KKR on Sunday.