Indian Premier League’s (IPL) two bottom placed teams Bangalore Royal Challengers and Kolkata Knight Riders will face each other in their hunt to get some points at the Kingsmead on Wednesday.
Knight Riders are placed seventh with three points from five matches while Royal Challengers are eighth with just two points from five games.
For both the teams it will the last outing for their two top players. Knight Riders will see that last of their top performer Chris Gayle while for Royal Challengers’ captain Kevin Pietersen will be playing his last match in what turned out to be a disappointing IPL stint for him.
Both Gayle and Pietersen will return to London after the match to lead West Indies and England in the Test series starting from May 6 at Lord’s.
Gayle’s absence will be a big blow for the Knight Riders as the Jamaican has been in a superb form at top of the order. Skipper Brendon McCullum has failed to give a good start and in the absence of Gayle, coach John Buchanan has to do some thinking with the opening combination.
The Knight Riders are in troubled waters and it will need a touch of brilliance from Sourav Ganguly to take them to safe shores. Ganguly, who was stripped from captaincy at the start of the league, has to come out with an inspiring performance against the Royal Challengers.
After four successive defeats, Royal Challengers are in great distress. The team management is still pondering over who will replace Pietersen as the skipper and coach Ray Jennings indicated that the captaincy race was still open.
Royal Challengers started brilliantly in the IPL by stunning defending champions Rajasthan Royals.
It will need another all-round effort from the Royal Challengers to get back to winning ways. The top order has failed miserably and players like Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor have failed to live up to their top billing. A good innings from Ryder and Taylor can ease the pressure off the middle-order.
Desperate to get some points, both teams will be trying to put up a better show at the Kingsmead.