Kolkata have dug themselves into a hole and will find it very hard to extricate themselves from it. The defending champs who began their campaign well with a win in their first game, have gone downhill since then and now have a mountain to climb to qualify for the knockouts.
Their major problem is their fielding which has been quite ordinary. Most other teams have featured in the top catches of the tournament so far, but leave aside that, if there was a contest for the simplest of catches floored or balls being let through the legs, then the Kolkata team would be there prominently.
Their batting also has been inconsistent and their bowling depends too much on Sunil Narine to come good, else they find themselves under the hammer. The extra effort also seems to be lacking and it is as if they feel that being the defending champs, they are somehow entitled to be in the
If theirs is an example of a team whose fortunes have reversed from last year, then the Sunrisers Hyderabad have shown that their luck is changing too. A team that lost regularly at their home ground are now winning every game at the same venue and so are now very much in the race for qualifying for the knockouts.
The return of Shikhar Dhawan has strengthened the batting and given it not just solidity but flair too and the ease with which they beat the fancied Mumbai team is an indication of their growing confidence.
The Rajasthan Royals who visit the Knight Riders today have also been the team to watch out for. It is good to see the quiet unassuming Rahul Dravid finally getting the kudos for his leadership qualities.
If ever there was a leader who showed the way himself and was the first to do the hard yards, it has been Rahul Dravid and under him the team has blossomed magnificently. Their fielding is top class with the seniors Dravid and Watson themselves taking superb catches and the youngsters are shining too.
Sanju Samson’s fine innings showed that when the opportunity arises you have to grab it. What was impressive was that he did not try to power the ball like Watson does, but realised his limitations and looked for timing and finding the gaps. That he keeps wickets too is another plus and with age on his side, the more games he plays and the more experience he gathers, the better it will be for his cricket.
Despite it being an away game, the Royals should be favourites going by the form they are in.
Professional Management Group