KKR and CSK just ran into each other in IPL 2015 on Tuesday. A couple of days later they do it all over again, this time at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, with the Knight Riders looking to even the head-to-head for the season against the Super Kings after a nail-biting loss in Chennai.
CSK showed just how difficult a team to beat they are via that match against KKR, finding a win even when they were far from their best. Put into bat first by Gambhir, pretty much all of their unbelievably good batsmen failed, with the final score of 134/6 looking as easy as they come for KKR to chase down.
After all, the Knight Riders pride themselves in being good chasers – the primary reason why Gambhir seem to choose to bat second every time he wins the toss – but on Tuesday, they were up against a CSK side in inspired bowling and fielding form.
R Ashwin, who will not be available for the next two matches, including this one, with a finger injury, set the tone with a couple of outstanding overs, where he also picked up the wickets of Robin Uthappa, and Manish Pandey before the rest of the spinners and Dwayne Bravo took over to see the match out and leave KKR short by two runs.
"It is good to play games like this and come on top," Bravo, the man of the match in the game for his three-for and some outstanding fielding, which included an outrageous catch, told IPL's official website. "We didn't bat properly and were way below our potential.
"But, as a team we showed that with runs on the board, no matter how few, anything can be possible. We are led by one of the best captains in the world and he always keeps encouraging us all. That's the thing with CSK -- we believe we can win from any situation."
As well as CSK bowled, though, KKR will know they threw away a glorious opportunity to pick up two points, and regain some of that momentum which has been lost since their loss to the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Instead, under pressure, their batsmen failed to pick up the key singles and allowed that required run rate to rise, rise and keep rising. Having said that, KKR are a different kettle of fish at home, and they will fancy knocking CSK over at the Eden Gardens.
Brad Hogg showed he is more than capable of filling in for Sunil Narine with some outstanding bowling in the last game, and the Australian veteran is again expected to play ahead of the West Indian, despite the mystery spinner being cleared to play, as long as he does not bowl off-spinners.
"We have to make sure that we don't take our pedal off the mettle when we are ahead in the run-rate," said Hogg. "At one point we needed run-a-ball [against CSK] but we missed those opportunities to just tick the strike over and play with ones."
With just seven points in seven matches, KKR need a win more than CSK, who can go two points clear at the top with victory of their own. Having seen the last game in Kolkata washed out by rain, though, that same wet weather problems loom large, and it remains to be seen if we can get a full T20 game come Thursday.
Where to Watch Live
Get the Match Report and Highlights HERE
KKR v CSK is set to begin at 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) with Sony Six, Sony Kix, Sony Aath and Sony Max showing the match live on TV in India. The IPL 2015 match can also be watched via via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Viewers in the UK can watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings on Sky Sports, while the option to live stream is on Sky Go. Audience in the US can flip that remote to ESPN to watch the game live, while the IPL 2015 action can also be live streamed on ESPN Cricket. Viewers across the world can go to Cricketgateway.com to catch this return match between KKR and CSK Live.