Eden Gardens in Kolkata is set to host two formidable sides of IPL 2016, as Kolkata Knight Riders look to outperform Gujarat Lions on Sunday in top of the table clash. KKR have been brilliant, winning six of their nine games. Another victory in front of their home fans will help them increase their chances of reaching the playoffs.
But it is not going to be any easy against Gujarat Lions, who are keen to get back to their winning ways. They have lost their last three matches on a trot, but they have the ammunitions to strike against KKR. Another loss for Gujarat Lions will be a huge setback for the team.
Hence, this is a must-win games for the Gujarat Lions, which can help them regain their top spot in the IPL 2016 standings.
KKR is currently at the top the table with some amazing performances, and will be keen to play similar cricket for the rest of the season. KKR started the previous edition of the competition brilliantly as well, but fell in the final stages ahead of the playoff.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir is well aware of what transpired last year. "I don't think we should be taking anything lightly because we have realised what happened last year. After the first 12 games, everyone thought that we are through, but ultimately we couldn't qualify," The Telegraph, Kolkata, quoted Gambhir as saying.
"We couldn't win one game out of the last two and we don't want to go down that route. We want to play as a professional unit and as a champion unit. We want to take each and every game as it comes and try and first qualify for the playoffs and then see where we finish."
With players like Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell firing for KKR, the home side should be a confident unit ahead of the match.
On the other hand, Gujarat Lions have some problems. Their batsmen have not been able to impress in the last few matches, which has led to their downfall. Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith have not scored runs in the Powerplay, and they have failed to adjust their batting according to the conditions. One could see Smith bat at number three, and Aaron Finch partner McCullum at the top.
Their middle-order batsmen like Dinesh Karthik and Suresh Raina also need to be consistent in the important phase of the IPL now. There is a serious need for the batsmen to adjust according to the conditions at Eden Gardens, where run-scoring might not be too easy.
"We cannot keep playing as though we are trying to get 180-190. It's not going to be possible. Every condition is different and if we don't adjust as batters quickly, we are going to find ourselves in this position again when it is challenging for batters," Press Trust of India quoted Gujarat Lions all-rounder Dwayne Bravo as saying.
If they get their batting right, they are a dangerous team, comprising good Indian bowlers like Praveen Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja. Gujarat Lions need an al-round performance from their players to break their losing streak.
Where to watch live
KKR vs Gujarat Lions IPL 2016 match – is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. IST (3:30 p.m. BST, 10:30 a.m. ET). Live TV coverage of the KKR vs Gujarat Lions IPL 2016 match will be on Sony Max, Sony Six/HD, Sony ESPN/HD. Online options are available onHotstar and Starsports.com.
Viewers in the US can watch KKR vs Gujarat Lions IPL 2016 match onESPN, while the game can also be live streamed on Watch ESPN.Sportsnet and viewers in Canada can watch the KKR vs Gujarat Lions IPL 2016 match on Watch Sportsnet.
OSN Sports Cricket will show Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat LionsIPL 2016 match in the Middle East and North Africa, while all the action can also be watched via live streaming online on OSN Cricket Play.
Supersport and Supersport Live Video will broadcast KKR vs Gujarat Lions IPL 2016 match in South Africa.
Viewers from across the world, around 133 countries, can watch the IPL 2016 match live online on Cricketgateway.