Advantage Gambhir as Kolkata will flourish on a slow turning pitch, says Dean Jones

Kolkata Knight Riders should flourish on slow, turning track, writes Dean Jones in his column in The Times Of India, adding that the pitch holds the key in the play-off between the mighty two of the IPL this season.

“I will have to go with Gautam Gambhir’s men. Kolkata will flourish on a slow, turning pitch with the likes of Sunil Narine, Shakib and Iqbal Abdulla in their ranks. However, if a flat pitch is prepared, then Delhi are the favourites,” says Deano.

“The average score in Pune is 146, so expect a lowscoring one but when Delhi are involved, who can tell! Of course, let me again remind you that it all depends on the pitch.  Kolkata’s numbers are 7.5 and 7.0. That shows what a great defensive team they are, but their batting has been poor. The responsibility falls on Gambhir’s shoulders again as the rest have been pretty inconsistent. However, the inclusion of Shakib — which I have been screaming for — has really helped them. He has two man-of-the-matches in limited appearances,” adds Dean Jones.

Meanwhile Team Delhi head coach Eric Simons informed that skipper Virender Sehwag and New zealand batsman Ross Taylor have recovered from their bouts of flu and will be playing in the play-offs against Kolkata, here on Tuesday.

“We didn’t have an extended practice session for them. They had light practice as both were recovering from bouts of flu. We are confident that they would be fine,” Simons stated on the eve of the match, according to a TOI report. 

Meanwhile Sourav Ganguly writes in Hindustan Times that a team, whose future was depending on lots of ifs and buts, has got a fresh lease of life by getting in to the last four of the tournament. “That RCB will not score only 132 runs against Deccan Chargers to get that desired two points was not even dreamt of as everyone thought that the batting line-up consisting of Gayle, Kohli, Dilshan, Devilliers will just blow it away. But this is why they say that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainty,” writes Ganguly, adding that the other team which will get on to the ground with a geared up mindset is KKR.

“They have a balanced side and have played good cricket so far. Few hiccups are bound to happen in such a long tournament but on the whole they have handled situations well as a group. They will take on Delhi who are also a talked about side and I believe the difference between the two sides will be made by the team who will handle pressure well on that day.”