Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiant: KKR want to forget Warner blast
Only half in jest has Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) owner Shah Rukh Khan said that whenever he feels a little arrogant about himself, he visits the USA where immigration issues usually bring him down to earth. Did the recent visit to Hyderabad have the same effect on his Indian Premier League team? (THE THRILLING ENDGAME)
Kolkata Knight Riders went to the Nizam’s city on top of the table. They took a shellacking on Sunday, which coupled with Mumbai Indians making the most of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s woeful run meant the Knights were dislodged from the top perch. KKR will look to shake off the effect when they face Rising Pune Supergiant on Wednesday.
It wasn’t the first time holders Sunrisers Hyderabad had pricked more than KKR’s pride. Last year, KKR won against them home and away but lost in the eliminator.
With Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner exploding --- it is not easy to make Shikhar Dhawan look sedate but the Australian pocket Hercules did just that --- KKR never really looked like they were in the game. Sitting in the opposition dugout, Shakib Al Hasan said it was one of the best innings of the IPL.
As they ready to host a team that is living up to its name and winning close games on Wednesday, KKR will hope Sunday’s humiliation was once too many. Rising Pune Supergiant flew into town on Tuesday evening, and skipped training after a late night win against Gujarat Lions. What could be more ominous for KKR is that MS Dhoni and Ben Stokes are hitting the ball well.
“I think he will ….have a bigger impact by the end of this IPL,” RPS skipper Steve Smith said about Dhoni. And with a century on Monday, Stokes showed why the franchise paid Rs 14.5 crore for this beefcake of an all-rounder.
RPS’ impressive run
“I think we just got to execute our plans, hit our areas and try and bowl to areas where he is not as strong,” said KKR all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme. The devil though will lie in the details.
RPS also beat Royal Challengers Bangalore before that. In their last five games, RPS have won four, the only blip being the loss at home against KKR, but Stokes didn’t play that game. The resurgence after a start that saw them surprise Mumbai Indians has taken RPS into the top four.
Despite the Warner treatment, KKR’s bowlers would fancy their chances on a helpful Eden wicket. In comparison, RPS’ bowling looks depleted. With Yusuf Pathan’s form patchy and neither of de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Surya Kumar Yadav and Sheldon Jackson really firing, KKR’s lower order batting has been a concern and they will hope the underbelly is not exposed on Wednesday.
Chris Lynn, who set the tone for KKR with some swashbuckling batting, trained on Tuesday and even batted for nearly half-an-hour at the nets with a heavily strapped left shoulder. Lynn was injured while attempting a catch in KKR’s second match against Mumbai Indians.