Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders would be looking to restore lost pride when they take on the struggling Pune Warriors in their Pepsi Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.
Both the teams are in the bottom half of the points table with the Knight Riders at eight points from just four wins in 12 games. Pune, on the other hand, are currently positioned last with four points, having lost 10 out of 12 matches.
It will a great chance for the title-holders, who are virtually out of contention for a berth in the four-team play-offs, to redeem themselves against a side enduring a nightmarish campaign this season. However, it would certainly not be an easy task for KKR, especially after the thrashing they received at the hands of Mumbai Indians on Tuesday night.
The Knight Riders’ top-order batting has waxed and waned this season. Yusuf Pathan, after showing glimpses of his talent in the match against Rajasthan Royals, was back among the low scorers.
With no other tear-away opening bowler to bank on, especially after Ryan McLaren was smashed for 60 runs in four overs last night, Brett Lee (4 wickets) could be given his fourth game of the season to support the likes of Kallis (11), Rajat Bhatia (10) and Laxmipathy Balaji (6).
Daunting task ahead
Similarly, Pune Warriors cup of woes is also brimming over after they suffered their seventh straight loss against Rajasthan Royals in their previous game.
It would be a daunting task for Aaron Finch’s boys as the Warriors have been woefully out of sorts and inconsistent in all departments of the game.
The batting is yet to fire in unison barring Aaron Finch’s three half-centuries and Robin Uthappa’s couple of half-centuries this season.
Bowling also remains a big concern for Pune as most of their bowlers have leaked runs especially pacer Ashok Dinda, who went for 52 runs from his four against RCB.
Poor death bowling has also been hurting them.PTI