IPL 2017: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Gujarat Lions, 5 factors of winning
KKR are second in the table with four wins from five games, while Gujarat Lions are bottom of the table.
Second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Gujarat Lions in a much-anticipated clash at the Eden Gardens on Friday. The Knight Riders have started the tournament in phenomenal fashion, winning four out of their five games, while their counterparts struggled throughout the initial stage and managed to win only one game in the five league matches.
In the three matches played between these two sides, the Lions enjoy a 2-1 advantage over their opponents. The two sides locked horns earlier in this edition of the tournament at Rajkot, and the Knight Riders thrashed the Lions in their own den, courtesy a whirlwind innings from Chris Lynn.
The Knight Riders have been a dominant force in front of their home crowd, winning both their games at the Eden Gardens and the Lions would require some special efforts in order to breach this fortress.
Take a look at the five factors of winning for both the teams:
#1 With the bat
The Knight Riders have been exceptional with the bat throughout this edition of the tournament. Gautam Gambhir, the skipper for the Knight Riders, has been leading from the front with the bat and effectively shouldered the responsibility of playing the anchor role in the batting line-up.
The last match against the Delhi Daredevils provided the Knight Riders with plenty of positives as Yusuf Pathan returned to form with an explosive 59 to help the Kolkata unit recover from their early jitters. The management would also be pleased to see the growth of Manish Pandey in the role of a finisher for the side as he steered them over the line with an unbeaten knock of 69 under pressure.
The Knight Riders have plenty of depth in their batting department and would back themselves to post a huge first innings total or even chase under pressure.
The strength for the Gujarat Lions has been their batting department as they bank heavily on their overseas recruits, Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch, and captain Suresh Raina, to shoulder the batting of the team.
The batting line up has been in sublime form throughout the tournament and the addition of Ishan Kishan in the middle order, gives them the flexibility in the batting order. The youngster exhibited tremendous big hitting skills against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match and his inclusion will help the visiting side.