KKR will have revenge on mind when they take on Kochi
Kochi: Table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders will have revenge on mind when they take on the unpredictable Kochi Tuskers Kerala in their return match of the Indian Premier League.
Kolkata lost by a mere six runs when the two teams squared off at the Eden Gardens on April 20 but fortunes have turned dramatically for both sides since then.
While Gautam Gambhir`s Kolkata sit pretty at the top of the table after six wins and just three defeats so far, Mahela Jayawardene`s Kerala managed to end a three-match losing streak in their previous outing against a lowly Delhi Daredevils.
On form, Kolkata start clear favourites with a formidable batting line-up and an equally intimidating bowling attack.
Gambhir`s men have been a dominant force in the event rarely floundering, which is a far cry from the shambolic form they displayed in the first three seasons of the IPL.
The willow-wielders have done their job well with Jacques Kallis, Gambhir himself and Manoj Tiwary in reasonably good touch. Yusuf Pathan is the only one struggling but the hard-hitter made amends with a blazing unbeaten 47 against Deccan Chargers yesterday.
The bowlers too have delivered the goods with Brett Lee, despite being in the twilight of his international career, spearheading the pace attack impressively.
He has found good support in Laxmipathy Balaji and Iqbal Abdulla, while Shakib Al Hasan has been in fine form leading the spin attack.
Kochi, on the other hand, have been inconsistent so far. The tournament debutants impressed by beating big teams such as the Mumbai Indians during the event but on most occasions, they have failed to click as a unit consistently.
After three successive losses, they sprung back to life by beating Delhi and the team`s Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene hoped the victory brings some consistency in his side`s performance.
"We would love to have that consistency in Twenty20 but if you see we have lost some games in the last two overs. Hopefully, with this win we can get some momentum," Jayawardene said.
That, however, is easier said than done for a side which relies too heavily on New Zealand swashbuckler Brendon McCullum in batting.