The Kolkata Knight Riders will look to seal their place in the final four of IPL 2014 and with it knock out the Royal Challengers Bangalore with a victory at the Eden Gardens on Thursday evening.
Where to Watch Live:
Get the CSK vs SRH Live Streaming Information HERE
Watch the Highlights HERE
Get the report HERE
The match is scheduled for a 4 pm IST (11.30 am BST, 6.30 am ET) start with live coverage on Sony Six (English) and Sony Max (Hindi) in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online HERE or HERE. Watch the match in the rest of the world HERE, HERE or through the GoCricket apps. Viewers in the US can catch the game on Willow TV or with the live streaming option HERE, while Canada viewers can do the same HERE.
Viewers in the Middle East can watch the action on OSN with the live streaming option available HERE, while New Zealand viewers can do the same via Sky NZ or HERE or via the above rest of the world options. Viewers in the UK can catch the match on ITV, while Pakistan viewers can do the same on Geo Super, with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh audience able to watch the game on TV on Masaranga TV and Carlton Sports Network respectively.
KKR are the form team in the IPL at the moment, having stormed their way to five straight wins, all of them convincing and all of them while batting second.
If RCB, who have to win to stay in the hunt for the playoffs, can take KKR out of their comfort zone by forcing them to bat first, then the Bangalore franchise might just see that window open.
However, bat or bowl first, RCB will need to get Robin Uthappa out as soon as possible, with the former Royal Challenger in stunning form. Uthappa has had scores of 40 or more in six straight matches, and while he was a little lucky to be able to bat beyond the first over against CSK, with R Ashwin dropping a dolly, the opener has the ability and confidence to rip apart any attack.
Uthappa will be a little extra motivated against RCB, the team he starred for quite a few years. "There is no doubt that he is playing good cricket," KKR assistant coach Vijay Dahiya said. "He has been in superb touch. And we always believe it is a team game and there are other people who are contributing as well. But I will say that he is in great touch."
Dahiya believes it is the serene and happy team environment which has played a big role in KKR's turnaround this season. "Self-belief has helped the team," Dahiya added. "Also the kind of environment that we have in the team is fantastic.
"We had a couple of close games and we knew we are there, if we hold on to couple of key overs -- only then we can go across the winning line and that's what we have decided to do. The kind of environment created by the coaches is fantastic.
"I think all along, in the last couple of years, we have had a very open door policy. Anyone can come and open up and say what he feels. All suggestions are welcome, whether it is off the field or even on the field.
"If you look, anyone can go to [KKR skipper] Gautam Gambhir and express themselves and say if a certain thing can be done at that time. The environment is so good and that's the reason why we have been able to turn things around."
Environments can change pretty quickly, though, and a heavy defeat to RCB on Thursday might just throw a few cats amongst the pigeons. That, at least, will be the Royal Challengers' plan with the Bangalore side desperate to not miss the playoffs for another season.
With the ridiculous star power in their lineup, there is absolutely no way that RCB should find themselves in this position – the likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB De Villiers and Yuvraj Singh – should have stepped up together and taken them over the line a while back; but then it just goes to show the importance of functioning as a tight unit in the IPL.
Kohli's return to form in the last game, albeit in a losing effort to the Sunrisers Hyderabad, was a welcome sign, but it does look like it might have come about a little too late, with just one win apiece for KKR and the Rajasthan Royals knocking them out for the knockout stage of the season.