Upbeat KKR take on Supergiants

Upbeat KKR take on Supergiants

Out of contention for a play-off berth, a brazen Rising Pune Supergiants will stand in the way of Kolkata Knight Riders’ revival when they clash in an Indian Premier League T20 match here on Saturday.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side is the first team to make an exit in the ninth edition after they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous match but left with three matches, the Supergiants will be keen to sign off on a high.

 From occupying the pole position midway into the season, KKR’s slide begun after their loss to Gujarat Lions and they have slipped to fourth place and are now in the danger of slipping out of top four.

One of the big factors that’s eluding KKR is Sunil Narine’s X-factor something that has contributed to their triumphs in 2012 and 2014 with the off-spinner claiming 74 wickets in four seasons.

Back after a remedial action, the ‘mystery’ spinner Narine has only managed six wickets from six outings at an economy of 7.34 as the batsmen are no more afraid to go for big hits against him.

 Lack of zing from an otherwise low and slow Eden Gardens track also meant that their spin strength has gradually fizzled out.

Keeping this in mind, the home team has prepared a rank-turner for Saturday’s match as Narine who was seen bowling hard at the nets may return to replace Brad Hogg.

 Dhoni, who is at the helm of Pune franchise, has drawn a lot of flak for his bizarre decisions of late and it’s high time that he takes more batting responsibilities and silence his critics.

Considered one of the best finishers of world cricket, Dhoni had Thisara Perera with him when they needed 22 from two overs but the skipper decided not to attack the impressive Bangladeshi left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman who conceded just eight runs in the 18th over.

The Indian skipper is also being blamed for under-utilising  R Ashwin who has not completed his four overs quota in 10 of his last T20s, including five matches for Pune.

 Live on Sony Network, 8 PM

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