Two men from Tamil Nadu in Dinesh Karthik and R Ashwin face off in Kolkata as leaders of their sides. Kings XI Punjab travels to Eden Gardens to take on Kolkata Knight Riders, and after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in their opening encounter and now would want to put in a convincing performance.
T20 is all about identifying specific strategies, identifying key players and then forging tactics. We take a look at 3 key player battles which could well determine the course of this match at the Eden Gardens.
Chris Gayle vs Sunil Narine
Well, the Universe Boss got going in the first match in Jaipur and this was just an extension of his prolific form which he showed against England in the ODI series. However, Dinesh Karthik has his own trump card in Sunil Narine. Gayle has recorded a strike-rate of 85.19 and has been dismissed twice by the spinner in the IPL. The left-hander has only managed to score 46 runs in 54 balls against Narine in IPL, but he has the form to put all the struggles to bed.
Robin Uthappa vs Ravichandran Ashwin
Are we past the R Ashwin-Mankading incident yet? Probably yes, probably no, but the skipper will be back again in the forefront, and he will have to get the job done with the ball. And his record against Robin Uthappa has been good over the years. KKR's premier batsman has only scored 88 runs off 65 balls against Ravichandran Ashwin, but the offie has managed to get rid of Uthappa five times in the IPL.
KL Rahul vs Piyush Chawla
KL Rahul wants to stamp his approval on this edition, but he got off cheaply in the first match against Rajasthan Royals. However, he is a man in form, especially in the shortest format and he is what KXIP would want from their opener. However, Rahul will have to counter the Piyush Chawla effect in the match against KKR as the leg-spinner has dismissed Rahul twice in 17 balls in the IPL. Dinesh Karthik will toss the ball to Chawla in the powerplay overs and Rahul has to be wary of the variations.
Andre Russell vs Mohammed Shami
Well, KKR were dead and buried in their first match and then Andre Russell rocked up and smoked the ball to all quarters to hand his side an improbable win. He is a man in form and thus, KXIP should be careful while using the bowlers against him. Shami, who was good in the death overs in the first match, has not been entirely successful against Russell over the years. Russell has smashed Shami for 47 runs off just 14 balls in the IPL with a strike-rate of 335.71.