No starting trouble for Dinda
All eyes will certainly be on Brendon McCullum and the other stars when the Kolkata team takes on a Hyderabad side boasting of Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds in Kolkata on Sunday.
Curiously enough, the activities of a bowler who played his first Twenty20 match on Friday will also be closely watched. To the envy and delight of his Bengal teammates, Ashoke Dinda is the man in question.
Included in the 11th hour and bowling the first over for a side which also has Ishant Sharma and Ajit Agarkar meant Dinda jumped a few spots in next to no time. He was fast, maintained a steady line outside off and didn't bowl short as he often has in a first-class career of three years in which he has played 16 matches for 45 wickets. Despite generating good pace, length had been a problem with him although in the season just gone by, Dinda was effective whenever he pitched it fuller.
Paras Mhambrey, who coached Bengal and Dinda for two seasons, felt the bowler born in Midnapore has matured over time.
"Being a strike bowler, he can go for a few runs at times, but it was good to see him consistently probe an outside off line on Friday," Mhambrey told HT from Baroda.
"He was pitching it in the right areas and was quick to get the length that suits him best. He was pitching it a little short of driving length and got Jaffer with one like that. That length is his strength and it was good to see him bowl with such passion."
Figures of 3-0-9-2 are good in any form of the game and if it comes from a player, who hasn't even played a 50-over match, in his first T20 outing it looks special. More so, because it was the first time that he was in the company of such illustrious players.
Dinda probably wouldn't have come anywhere near selection had Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul been available, but now that he has done well opening the attack, he can start the second game in a better frame of mind.
No news of Gayle Shivnarine Chanderpaul has joined the Bangalore side, but there is still no news of Chris Gayle, the Kolkata team's prize catch. He has a groin injury and officials couldn't confirm when the West Indies captain would arrive.