Kolkata: Their early roar reduced to a whimper, it’s not a good time for the Gujarat Lions to find themselves in the den of a dangerous adversary.
Front-runners for much of IPL-9’s first half, Suresh Raina and his men look tamed as they brace themselves for Sunday’s showdown with Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. The Lions’ dip in form — they lost their last three matches — coincides with a KKR resurgence.
Gautam Gambhir & Co, out on the road for over three weeks, celebrated homecoming on Wednesday with victory over Kings XI Punjab, and they look ready for the Lions.
KKR have presented a settled look early in the tournament. They did lose games but have bounced back, flaunting fire in the belly and depth in resources. The back-from-the-dead turnaround scripted by Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell in Bangalore on Monday, and the West Indian’s allround performance at the Eden a couple of days later to snuff out Kings XI have had KKR take over as league leaders.
The two power-hitters are not the only threat. Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been the tournament’s most successful opening pair, while Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav too are in form.
Gambhir is wary of complacency. “We’ve taken our lessons from last year and, hopefully, we won’t make the same mistakes. After 12 games everyone thought we were through, but we couldn’t qualify,” the KKR skipper reminded.