Knight Riders to face Rajasthan Royals Thursday (Preview)

April 22nd, 2009 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Cape Town, April 22 (IANS) After a comprehensive win against Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders are gearing up for a tough battle against defending champions Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here Thursday.
Rajasthan Royals, who slumped to a humiliating 75-run loss against Bangalore Royal Challengers, will be looking for a change of luck at the Newlands. In their second match against Mumbai Indians, rains played spoil sport and the game was called-off without a ball being bowled.

It will be a big challenge for the young Royals’ side to bounce back in the league sans some reputed names, like Shane Watson, Sohail Tanveer and Kamran Akmal.

The Knight Riders, too, lost their first match to Deccan Chargers, but got their act together against Kings XI to log their first points. They, however, were helped by rain and some sloppy fielding by Kings XI.

The onus will be on senior players like Sourav Ganguly and Chris Gayle, who struck an unbeaten 44 against Kings XI.

Knight Riders skipper Brendon McCullum leadership skills are being scrutinised in every match since he took the reins from Sourav Ganguly after the multiple-captain controversy.

After guiding a bunch of no hopers to the inaugural IPL title, Shane Warne will face a tough challenge to motivate this young team to perform in unfamiliar conditions.

Warne have said his batsmen need to have better shot selection.

Knight Riders bowling attack at best is average. Their spearhead Ishant Sharma is still to make a mark while Ashok Dinda and Portugal-born Australian allrounder Moises Henriques haven’t done anything worthwhile.

The spotlight will be again on Ganguly. Stripped of his captaincy, Ganguly put up a great bowling display against Kings XI Punjab picking two wickets that brought back Knight Riders into the match. He has to find form with the bat.

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