T20 2018 Preview: We have plans for Rajasthan's Jos Buttler, says Kolkata coach Jacques Kallis
Kolkata, pushed to the brink after back-to-back defeats to a resurgent Mumbai last week, are up against another 'late riser' that has finally hit its straps
Here comes another charging bull. Kolkata, pushed to the brink after back-to-back defeats to a resurgent Mumbai last week, are up against another 'late riser' that has finally hit its straps. Brushing aside opponents as they climb up the league ladder after being at the bottom, Rajasthan are scripting a story that's similar to that of Mumbai.
Rajasthan come to the Eden Gardens for today's clash on the back of three consecutive victories. They tamed top-of-the-table teams like Punjab and Chennai before making light of the Mumbai challenge at the Wankhede on Sunday. Rajasthan's attack is finally coming together. Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaydev Unadkat present fine pace options while off-spinning all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham has held his own despite bowling in the power-play.
A Caribbean contest, between Archer and Kolkata opener Sunil Narine, promises to be an intriguing one. The tall Barbadian pacer, who has been extracting disconcerting bounce with his high-arm action, looks the right antidote to the pinch-hitting Trinidadian who has shown some weakness against the short stuff. Narine scored his IPL best of 75 on Saturday as Kolkata returned to winning ways with a 31-run victory over Punjab in Indore.
With the likes of Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell, it's a line-up that can take a match away from the opposition. Lack of consistency has been an issue. Rajasthan face a similar problem, and it's the irrepressible Jos Buttler, who is covering for their misfiring batting stars. The Englishman has now hit five consecutive half-centuries, his last three innings producing an 80-plus and a couple of unbeaten 90-plus scores.
"We have some good plans for him, as well as for the other batters," Kolkata coach Jacques Kallis said. Net run-rate may well play a part in deciding which two teams fill the remaining playoff berths, but Kallis said it's no more than "back of the mind" stuff.
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