Kolkata Knight Riders started their three-game home swing on a good note, easing past the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and the defending champions will now look to make it two in two when they host the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2015 at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.
KKR seem to know when to kick into gear, and having seen their bowing do the business against SRH, Gautam Gambhir will expect another sound performance from his players.
On a tricky, slow batting wicket, KKR did reasonably well to get to 167, even if they lost a bit of momentum in the middle overs after a blazing start from Robin Uthappa and Gambhir. The KKR batting lineup, strong from top to lower order, is slowly but surely finding their form, and if that batting clicks in the next few games to good effect, the champions will undoubtedly be there amongst the top four come the end of the league stage.
"I don't think we have had the perfect game yet but we are certainly heading in the right direction," said KKR coach Trevor Bayliss. "Our batting is starting to click. It has probably been our weak link early in the tournament.
"Some of our batsmen are starting to come in to form. If we can score some runs and can get that batting clicking, we will be a force in the competition. We have always said that we want to be playing our best cricket towards the end of the tournament and that is the case at the moment."
KKR's clear strength is their bowling, which is why sometimes it is hard to fathom why Gambhir is always so keen on bowling first. Against SRH, they showed, even while defending a par score, just how good their bowling can be, with the spinners now led by the ageless Brad Hogg, who has stepped in for Sunil Narine in admirable fashion.
The fact that their bowling is doing so well, despite Morne Morkel not playing for a while, only speaks volumes about just how good this outfit is.
Therefore, DD will have to bat out of their skins to make this into a contest at the always-loud Eden Gardens. The Delhi Daredevils have blown hot and cold this season, and as a result find themselves looking up at the top four spots.
The batting is the key – if Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer and JP Duminy can build a solid platform, it will allow the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav and Angelo Mathews, who has yet to come into his own in IPL 2015, to go slam-bang for DD in the second half of the innings. If the top three can do that against this formidable KKR bowling lineup remains to be seen.
Having said that, DD's bowlers could be key in this match. On a slow wicket, which aids spin, Imran Tahir and Amit Mishra will play a big part, and if they can slow down the KKR batsmen, they will have a good chance of coming away from Kolkata's fortress with a crucial two points.
Where to Watch Live
Get the Highlights of the Match HERE
The IPL 2015 match is set to begin at 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET). Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Aath and Sony Kix will show the match live on TV in India, while the online live streaming option is on Stasports.com and Hotstar.
ESPN is the channel to go to watch the game in the US, while KKR vs DD can also be live streamed on ESPN Cricket. Audience in the UK can catch the match live on Sky Sports2, with the live stream option on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. Viewers around the world can go to Cricketgateway.com to watch live Kolkata Knight Riders play Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2015.