Deccan Chargers look for victory against inconsistent Kolkata
Kolkata Knight Riders would be hoping to boost their confidence against the bottom-placed Deccan Chargers.
Bottom-placed Deccan Chargers will continue their quest for an elusive victory when they take on an inconsistent Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
The Chargers, yet to open their account, would draw inspiration from the fact that they had won both their matches in 2010 here at the Barabati Stadium when the venue played host to two out of seven of their home games.
But having lost all four of their matches so far this season, they will have to get their act together against a side high on confidence after defeating Kings XI Punjab comprehensively in their last match.
Although the Knight Riders have only 50 percent win ratio till now with three victories from six matches, the Kolkata outfit certainly starts as favourites.
Given the unpredictability factor associated with this format of the game, it would be a folly to rule out any team, but, in the current scenario, the Chargers are in a real spot of bother and it would certainly take a great effort from them to get the better of the Knight Riders.
The only way they can hope to pull it off, is by playing out of their skins, and hoping that luck sides with them.
It would be important for the openers, skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Shikhar Dhawan, to lay a solid platform for a competitive total.
The in-form Dhawan and one-down batsman Parthiv Patel did well in the previous match, scoring quickfire 44 and 45 respectively, and the Chargers would once again hope that the top-order sticks to its job. Jean-Paul Duminy, who failed in the last game but played a whirlwind knock against Rajasthan Royals, would also look to get back among the runs.
However, the Chargers' continuous bowling failure has been a major cause of worry for them and they would be desperate to rectify the problem when they take the field at their lucky venue.
Despite South African pacer Dale Steyn's good show, his spells are yet to result in the team's victory as none of the bowlers at the other end has been able to compliment him.
The Chargers can only hope that their bowling department consisting of legspinner Amit Mishra, Aussie all-rounder Dan Christian, slow left-armer Ankit Sharma, and Steyn, will fire in unison.
For the Knight Riders, too much pressure has been put on the top order, including captain Gautam Gambhir and experienced South African campaigner Jacques Kallis and it's time for others to step up and be counted.
And there could be no better opponents than the Chargers for the likes of Brendon McCullum, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla and Dutch all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate to come back to form.
In bowling, Kolkata would depend heavily on veteran Australian pacer Brett Lee and West Indies' Sunil Narine, who has impressed with his performance so far.
Lakshmipathy Balaji and Rajat Bhatia have also been impressive but Pathan and Kallis will look to bring their bowling back on track.
While it would be interesting to watch if the Chargers are able to break the jinx, the Knight Riders are not expected to spare an inch.