The hosts would depend on their spinners to exploit assistance from the wicket
For defending champion Kolkata Knight Riders the saga in the IPL-VI so far has been about wasted ‘crusades’ away from home.
The comfort that marked its performances at home were absent in the three losses it suffered at other centres in the last couple of weeks.
It will be a good contest on Saturday afternoon when Knight Riders embark on a campaign at Eden Gardens looking to balance their away losses.
But posing a big hurdle to their endeavour this time will be Chennai Super Kings — arguably one of the most accomplished teams in the tournament.
Going by what the two teams have attained so far, the contrast is clearly evident in the performances of their last outings. Knight Riders shuttled between outstanding and ordinary in a largely inconsistent showing to lose by four runs to Kings XI Punjab at Mohali on Tuesday. Super Kings, meanwhile, impressed with a majestic 86-run win over Delhi Daredevils on Thursday.
Super Kings have won two of their three away matches and are currently placed fourth with three wins and two losses. There isn’t a clear favourite in Saturday’s encounter but form is definitely with Super Kings.
The spin duo — Sunil Narine and young Sri Lankan Sachitra Senanayake — have displayed their craft in tune with their reputation for the hosts. The spinners will again look for assistance from the slow Eden wicket.
What may add an interesting twist to the tale may well be Super Kings’ authority in playing spin, especially by Suresh Raina and the indomitable skipper M.S. Dhoni. With Michael Hussey adding punch the visitors’ batting has gained more depth.
Knight Riders have a big deficiency in the area of its strength — batting. Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir, a contender for the Orange Cap, has led by example scoring 235 runs. Gambhir has Eoin Morgan to look for consistency while the rest of the line-up has been mostly unimpressive.