The delight of a ‘dream start’ at home having been doused by the disenchantment of successive away defeats, defending champion Kolkata Knight Riders will seek to regroup against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a Pepsi IPL-VI engagement at the Eden Gardens on Sunday afternoon.
KKR began its title defence in style prevailing over visitor Delhi Daredevils in the tournament opener on April 3. But success deserted the team as it called on Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore in consecutive outstation assignments over the week.
Getting back on home turf, the Knight Riders would be keen to regain the momentum and clear out of the emergent crisis.
One of the major tasks for the KKR captain Gautam Gambhir will be restoring the balance in his dithering side.
The host will be desperate to reclaim the winning form when they take on the new entity of the tournament, Surisers Hyderabad. Unlike the faltering graph of the home side, the visitors have performed beyond expectation in snatching three wins in their four outings so far.
Given this situation the Knight Riders may well forge some changes in the team in order to ascertain a better performance. The host could well be leaning on experience and recall the New Zealand opener Brendon McCullum, who is said to have recovered from injury.
The Sunrisers, who arrived here after a confidence-boosting win against the Daredevils at the latter’s home on Friday, may not boast of a great line-up but their bowling flaunts some of world’s best men in business.
Led by the South African speedster Dale Styen, Sunrisers have the likes of Ishant Sharma, Thisara Perera and Amit Mishra, who together make a good attack that gives the team its strength.
The visitors, who beat Pune Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore (at home) and Delhi Daredevils, have shown nerve in getting some close wins and this will give captain Kumar Sangakkara the confidence of looking for another win to bolster their position.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Manvinder Bisla, Jacques Kalis, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Eoin Morgan, Rajat Bhatia, Ryan McLaren, Pradeep Sangwan, Sunil Narine, Laxmipathy Balaji, Brendon McCullum, Brad Haddin, Ryan ten Doeschate, Sachithra Senanayake, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Sarabjit Ladda, Debabrata Das, Iqbal Abdulla, Mohammad Shami Ahmed.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kumar Sangakkara (C), Akshat Reddy, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharrma, Ashish Reddy, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White, Chris Lynn, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, DB Ravi Teja, Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Nathan McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Prasant Padmanabhan, Quinton de Kock, Sachin Rana, Shikhar Dhawan, Sudeep Tyagi, Thalaivan Sargunam, Thisara Perera and Veer Pratap Singh.