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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiant: KKR want to forget Warner blast

Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to regain their top spot in the IPL 2017 points table when they face Rising Pune Supergiant at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 03, 2017 15:59 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
IPL 2017,Kolkata Knight Riders,Rising Pune Supergiant
Kolkata Knight Riders will face Rising Pune Supergiant an IPL 2017 match at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.(AFP)

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.

READ | IPL 2017: RCB out of race, AB de Villiers backs Mumbai Indians for title

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.

Warner’s blitz

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.

Ben Stokes scored his maiden IPL century to guide Rising Pune Supergiant to a comfortable victory over Gujarat Lions. ( AFP )

“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.

Need to win

Need to win 1
What must they do: If they win three, they are assured of a top-two finish which will give them two chances in the playoffs.
4 Matches remaining vs Delhi Daredevils (May 6), vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 8), vs Kings XI Punjab (May 11), vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 13)

Need to win 2
What must they do: If they win one, KKR might still be safe because of good net run rate.
4 Matches remaining vs Rising Pune Supergiant (May 3), vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 7), vs Kings XI Punjab (May 9), vs Mumbai Indians (May 13)

Need to win 2
What must they do: If they lose all four, then they must hope Gujarat do not win all four and KXIP win only two out of five games.
3 Matches remaining vs Rising Pune Supergiant (May 6), vs Mumbai Indians (May 8), vs Gujarat Lions (May 13)

Need to win 2
What must they do: Rising Pune Supergiant need to win two out of the remaining four games.
4 Matches remaining vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 3), vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 6), vs Delhi Daredevils (May 12), vs Kings XI Punjab (May 14)

Need to win 4
What must they do: They will be hoping that Hyderabad lose their remaining games while Pune Supergiant lose three out of four games.
5 Matches remaining vs Royal Challengers (May 5), vs Gujarat Lions (May 7), vs Knight Riders (May 9), vs Mumbai Indians (May 11), vs Pune Supergiant (May 14)

Need to win 4
What must they do: If they lose one, Gujarat must hope Pune lose all their remaining games and KXIP do not win more than two games.
4 Matches remaining vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 3), vs Delhi Daredevils (May 4), vs Kings XI Punjab (May 7), vs Delhi Daredevils (May 10), vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 13)

Need to win 5
What must they do: If Daredevils win all their remaining five games, they go to 16 points. They must hope that Sunrisers Hyderabad win only one out of four games while Pune Supergiant lose three out of four games. If Daredevils lose any game, they will have to hope that Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions lose all their remaining games.
5 Matches remaining vs Gujarat Lions (May 4), vs Mumbai Indians (May 6), vs Gujarat Lions (May 10), vs Rising Pune Supergiant (May 12), vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 14)
Graphics: Hitesh Mathur

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.

READ | MS Dhoni tops IPL 2017 charts on Twitter; Mumbai Indians most talked about team

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.

Lynn trains

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.

First Published: May 02, 2017 20:30 IST