IPL 2023: Kolkata Knight Riders hope to face Gujarat Titans again.
KOLKATA: As they get ready to host the reigning champion Gujarat Titans at the Eden Gardens on Saturday, Kolkata Knight Riders are facing some unpleasant realities.
Nitish Rana and his squad have woken up on the wrong side of the bed twice at home since ending Royal Challengers Bangalore's challenge, raising doubts about their capacity to cross the finish line. However, KKR's most recent victory over RCB in the second leg at the Chinnaswamy could be a clue as to where they stand in terms of balance and effectiveness. In addition to stopping their four-match losing streak, it has demonstrated a model that the team management hopes to build upon.
The team's opening pair has always been a source of problems. However, the management might not have as much trouble now after watching Jason Roy and Narayan Jagadeesan—their sixth opening pair in eight innings—build the Bengaluru innings without losing a wicket in the powerplay for the first time this season.
Additionally, the victory—third KKR's of the season—was marked more by teamwork than by any individual act of miracle scripting, such as Rinku Singh's act of pulling a rabbit out of a hat in Ahmedabad. If Hardik Pandya and company's arrival gives KKR the chance to sweep the defending champs, the hosts will undoubtedly want to rise to the occasion as a unit. Any discussion of their rebirth in the near future may be characterised in this way.
However, Rana & Co. are not venturing into uncharted territory. When the club lost four straight games in 2014, they were in a similar predicament. However, they recovered and went on a nine-match winning streak to win the championship.
Can KKR relive the past with six points from eight games and a No. 7 ranking? Wriddhiman Saha, the wicketkeeper for the Titans, emphasised to everyone that Rinku's glitz and glam in Ahmedabad should be taken as an anomaly rather than the rule. "Such events only occur once per 1000 or perhaps 100,000 matches. Not (bowler) Yash Dayal, but Rinku had the day off "said Saha.
The Titans under Pandya have already accumulated 10 points and appear to be a side that exudes confidence, whether they are winning nail-biting games like the one against LSG or sweeping through other contenders like CSK. They have a few players in the top order, ranging from Saha and Shubman Gill to David Miller and Rahul Tewatia, who may change the course of the game. Veteran Mohit Sharma has also demonstrated that he still has it in him as Mohammad Shami and Rashid are leading their attack.
However, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, the two surviving players from KKR's 2014 championship team, are still competing, despite the fact that they no longer appear to be able to single-handedly and frequently alter the course of a game.
As a result, KKR coach Chandrakant Pandit is left with the difficult challenge of rallying his team in a make-or-break moment while being cognizant of the reality that another loss could seriously harm their playoff chances. It will be interesting to see how they handle the task of getting past the Titans and reviving their faltering campaign.
Litton goes back home.
According to a KKR official, Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Litton Das took a flight back home to attend to a "family medical issue." Nothing has changed regarding his return. The 28-year-old only participated in one game, which was against Delhi Capitals.