Just how do you stop the KKR juggernaut – after all, Gautam Gambhir's men seem to have it all, superlative batting, and even better bowling. That will be the riddle that the Hobart Hurricanes will try to solve when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in the first semifinal of the Champions League T20 2014.
Get the report HERE
KKR are in ridiculous form at the moment, on a 13-match unbeaten run in all T20 cricket, and looking well on course for their second straight T20 league title. To top that, the semifinal will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, the venue where KKR have played all of their CLT20 2014 matches -- all of which they won, of course.
On Thursday, it will be about their spin bowling again. If Sunil Narine and co. can weave their magic on the Hobart Hurricanes batsmen, then there really is only going to be one winner in this CLT20 2014 semifinal.
"We are looking forward to it and it's probably a match between a spin-oriented team and a pace bowling team," said Trevor Bayliss. "Hobart Hurricanes have some really good players and some explosive batsmen and we have to put our best foot forward to beat them.
"It is an advantage that we have a number of spin bowlers in our team who are all different in their own way. It gives us a lot of variety in the spin department and every one of those bowlers are quality spinners as well.
"It is one thing playing spin and it is another thing to play quality spin. Some of the Hobart batsmen are good players and can hit the ball a long way. If we don't bowl well, I am sure they will be good enough to take advantage of that."
The one thing going for the Hobart Hurricanes will be the Sunil Narine situation. The bowler was reported for a suspect bowling action in KKR's last game, and while that won't prevent the mystery spinner from bowling in the semifinal, it just might affect his game, and KKR are definitely not the same side without a formidable, unhittable Narine in their lineup.
"There are some bad habits that creep in, whether you are a batsman or a bowler," admitted Bayliss. "And then someone points it out and you are able to do something about it. Sunil is a cricketer who has got a long career ahead of him.
"He wants to be playing for the next ten or twelve years. He is quite happy to work on anything that needs to be worked on and I don't think it will take much from him to get it right."
And Hurricanes fast bowler Doug Bollinger concurred. "I don't think it will make much of a difference," Bollinger said. "We just have to play him depending on how he bowls. He has been bowling fantastically well and he is a great bowler.
"We will have to play him on merit and take a cue from the teams that have played him well. He won't change much. We have to be confident and try to get as many runs as we can off him."
Where to Watch Live
Get the Match Report HERE
The first semifinal of the CLT20 2014 is scheduled for a 4 pm IST (11.30 am BST, 6.30 am ET) start, with live coverage in India on Star Sports 3 (Hindi), Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD1. Viewers can also catch the match via free live streaming online on Starsports.com.
US viewers catch the action on ESPN or Watch ESPN, and the game can be live streamed by audience in Canada on Watch Sportsnet. Europe and UK viewers can watch the match on Eurosport or via an online live stream courtesy the channel's online Player.
Rest of the world viewers can watch the match via free live streaming on StarSports.com.