Kolkata, April 29: Reeling under an agonising two-run defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would look to quickly redeem themselves when they face the same opponents in the return leg Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8) match here tomorrow.
The loss against the Super Kings came only last night in Chennai, and it would be a tough task for the Kolkata outfit to put the disappointment behind and bounce back against the table-toppers.
Before last night's game, the Knight Riders had also lost their previous match, against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Sitting at No. 3 in the table, the defending champions need to regroup fast before they slip out of contention.
In comparison, one of the most consistent teams in IPL, Chennai Super Kings juggernaut have begun to roll on after winning nine home matches on the trot.
Be it MS Dhoni's captaincy in clever field settings and bowling changes to CSK fielders all-out approach, the two-time title winners ticked all the boxes defending the small target of 135 against KKR.
They would now look to continue their winning run despite the absence of key spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who split his middle finger of the bowling hand while fielding and could not complete his spell last night.
The Super Kings' line-up will finally see a change, as left-arm spinner Pawan Negi or leggie Rahul Sharma could fill in the void. Dhoni may also bring in Irfan Pathan in place of Ishwar Pandey, who leaked 18 runs from his two overs.
While Ashwin will be sorely missed at the Eden Gardens tomorrow, it would surely brighten KKR's chances. The Knight Riders, on the other hand, have a lot to ponder upon the batting, be it the order or composition.
It is no secret that bowling has been their main strength, and in absence of Sunil Narine too, KKR did well to restrict the Super Kings to 134 for six. But it was their self destructive batting that messed up the chase.
Besides their accuracy in bowling, it was also the batsmen who had complimented well last season to clinch the crown.
But the likes of Robin Uthappa, the last edition's top run-getter, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan are yet to convert their starts, and the batting has so far relied heavily on skipper Gautam Gambhir.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Brad Hogg, Sunil Narine, Morne Morkel, Azhar Mahmood, Johan Botha, Veer Pratap Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Sumit Narwal, Sheldon Jackson, Aditya Garhwal, KC Cariappa and Vaibhav Rawal.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Ashish Nehra, Kyle Abott, Samuel Badree, Matt Henry, John Hastings, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Mithun Manhas, Pawan Negi, Rahul Sharma, Ankush Bains, Irfan Pathan, Pratyush Singh, Baba Aparajith, Ronit More and Ekalavya Dwivedi.
Match starts 8 PM IST