Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) will be going into their IPL 2016 match on Saturday at the Eden Gardens in the City of Joy with two different ambitions. While the Gautam Gambhir-led KKR will be looking to cementing their position in the top four of the table with a favourable result, MS Dhoni's RPS will be keen on none but a win to have even a slender chance of making it to the playoffs this year.
At the moment, KKR are fourth in the table with 12 points from 10 games, while RPS are at the bottom of the table with six points and have just three more games in the league stage of the Indian Premier League this time around.
Not being able to see Dhoni feature in the IPL playoffs will come as a surprise for many fans, but that is exactly how the competition has panned out this time around. After over a month's scintillating cricket action, none of the teams have confirmed a berth to the playoffs, and the last four positions are still very much open.
KKR last took on newcomers Gujarat Lions on Saturday, and they will be expected to come into the match at home against RPS after a refreshing break. The positive news for them is that the likes of Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey have all shone for them in the last few matches. Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell and Shakib Al Hassan, too, have been impressive off-late.
After having enjoyed a much-needed break and with all the players performing as a unit, KKR would be expected to have an edge over Dhoni's men on Saturday. The pressure is therefore, on the away team to at least get something out of the competition this year, which they can cherish.
A season marred by injuries has affected the Pune outfit just in every way possible. It looked at one moment that RPS may have bright chances of making it to the playoffs after Steve Smith got his maiden IPL century last month, but his exit too, along with the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Faf du Plessis and others, indicated the death knell this season for Dhoni's men.
Currently, Ajinkya Rahane is in top form for the side, but only his individual efforts won't do the trick today, as the team needs to perform together to post the win. The likes of Usman Khawaja, R Ashwin and Dhoni himself, have to do enough to get something bright out of the competition for them.
Where to watch live
IPL 2016: KKR vs RPS is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. IST (2:30 p.m. GMT, 10:30 a.m. ET) on May 14.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on ESPN, with the online streaming option available on Watch ESPN.
The live scores of the game are available on Cricketgateway.