Baidurjo and Arnab: This is all we have from the LIVE preview for now. Catch you guys with the LIVE blog of the TOSS and MATCH in 30 minutes.
Baidurjo: My Likely XI for Kolkata goes: Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Woakes, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav.
Arnab: Hahaha! That was a good comeback. Enough said and done, now let us look at the Likely XI. My Likely XI goes: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith, MS Dhoni (wk), Ben Stokes, Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Christian, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Imran Tahir.
Baidurjo: Since you are so intent on rubbing salt into the wound, let me bring up another number. MS Dhoni, the much-famed finisher, has managed just 199 runs in 10 games this year at a strike-rate of 113.06. Clearly, he is no longer a force to reckon with. Also, he has managed just 29 runs off 58 balls against Narine.
Arnab: Shifting away just a little, Woakes might be KKR's joint highest wicket-taker, but he has an economy rate of 9.65 and only Mumbai Indians' Lasith Malinga has been more expensive. Clearly Pune don't need to worry too much about Woakes as he pays quite a heavy price for every wicket he picks.
Baidurjo: But the numbers favour Kolkata clearly. In the three games they have played so far in the IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders have won all the three games. Interestingly, they have chased in all these matches. Clearly, KKR love chasing down totals and that was evident even in their last clash at the MCA Stadium when Uthappa hit a 47-ball 87 to chase down 182.
Arnab: Pune too have their own stand-out performers. While Imran Tahir has been at his usual best, picking 16 wickets in 10 games, Jaydev Unadkat has surprised all with his impact. He has picked 10 wickets in 6 games. He has a powerplay economy of 7.80 and has bowled at an economy rate of 7.92 in the death.
Baidurjo: Talking of batsmen, Kolkata have quite a few in very good form. Starting with skipper Gautam Gambhir who has scored 387 runs this season in 10 games. He is followed closely by Robin Uthappa who is having a great season. Uthappa has 384 runs and is striking the ball at 170.66. Not to forget Manish Pandey who has scored 304 coming in the middle-order.
Arnab: Rahul is not the only batsman in Pune's ranks and Ajinkya Rahane will be another batsman to watch-out for. This season has not really gone as per plan for the batsman and he could well be looking to get back to form on the Eden wicket.
Baidurjo: It will be interesting to see how he faces off against Coulter-Nile and Woakes. Also, Tripathi has looked like he only knows how to attack. The experience of the likes of Narine will definitely make him earn his runs.
Arnab: But both Kuldeep and Narine have also given away runs. While Kuldeep has an economy of 7.93, Narine has bowled at an economy rate of 7.14. Also, Rahul Tripathi has been really good for Pune at the top, scoring 259 runs in 8 games at a strike-rate of 148.00
Baidurjo: In that case, Pune must also remember that the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine do not really need dust bowls to help them. While Kuldeep has picked 8 wickets, Narine has picked 6 and they can create issues for the aggressive Pune batsmen. Even in the last game, Stokes was not too comfortable against Soni and this is where the chinaman and mystery spinner could come in handy.
Arnab: Exactly where Pune hold the edge. Pune have scored at 8.97 against pacers this season as compared to their scoring rate of 7.32 against the spinners. With the Eden wicket no longer wearing the dusty look, it could play into the hands of the Pune boys.
Baidurjo: Pune might be on a roll, but then, Stokes and his boys must remember that Kolkata's bowling is far superior to that of Gujarat and Gambhir will want his pacers to go all out against Smith and his boys on an Eden track which has helped pacers this season. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Woakes have been terrific, picking 11 wickets apiece.
Arnab: But Pune have been on a roll after the initial stutter and Kolkata definitely have their task cut-out. After winning just one of their first 4 games, they have gone ahead and won 5 of their last 6 games. Form and momentum supports Pune and expect Smith's men to play out of their skins at the Eden Gardens.
Baidurjo: But beware of the wounded tigers in Kolkata. Gautam Gambhir does not settle for anything but a 100% effort on the field and he was livid with the team's show against Hyderabad. Expect them to come back all guns blazing against Pune.
Arnab: Yes, looks like a thrilling battle on the cards. Pune will surely want to take the winning momentum forward after a superb show against Gujarat Lions. Ben Stokes finally showed why he is one of the most feared all-rounders in world cricket at the moment. Expect another professional show here.
Hi, I am Baidurjo Bhose, cricket correspondent at Cricketnext and I have with me Arnab Sen, editor of CricketNext. We will be previewing the clash between Kolkata and Pune.
Looks to be an interesting battle on the cards. Kolkata are placed second on the table and need a win to cement their place in the playoffs. Pune on the other hand need to win their remaining games to ensure a safe place in the playoffs. While I will be batting for KKR, Arnab will fight Pune’s case.
Hello and Welcome to the LIVE preview of the game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rising Pune Supergiant at the Eden Gardens
Rising Pune Supergiant take on Kolkata Knight Riders in the 41st match of the Indian Premier League at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
We at CricketNext will dissect the upcoming contest through our statistics based analysis where we discuss which team has greater chances of coming out on top.