B'lore Royal Challengers down but not out

Published: Thursday, May 8, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Kolkata: Cricket connoisseurs may have delisted pre-match favourites Bangalore from probable qualifiers for main knock-out stage, but Rahul Dravid's team can still undo dreams of many aspiring sides when they take on hosts Kolkata at Eden Gardens here on Thursday.

Since Bangalore were bludgeoned at home by Kolkata Knight Riders in the T20 opener, Dravid's star studded side's downfall continued and it never really took off in the eight-team championship. After seven matches and halfway in the tournament, the visitors were now gasping with four points from two wins and stood at the bottom.

Unperturbed by the events unfolded in the last 48 hours for his team Mr Cool Dravid has asked his wards to focus on the game

Addressing a news conference after net practice at the floodlit Eden Gardens here this evening, Dravid said his boys were fit and not many changes would take place barring the injured Wasim Jaffar.

He said West Indies' Shivnaraine Chandrapaul was also fit for tomorrow's tie.

He, however, said the final XI would be announced before the match.

Asked about team CEO Charu Sharma's withdrawl from the post, Dravid said he was not in a position to comment on that as his focus was on the field and how his boys perform tomorrow.

He said the T20 format was challenging and he was learning with time as the situation demands quick and fast thinking.

After five defeats in seven matches, Bangalore faces a situation like either make or break in the chmpionship, now halfway in the eight-team tourney.

With the new CEO Brijesh Patel, Bangalore may have some ace in their sleeves.

Knight Rider's position too is not quite delightful, placed almost near the fag end with four defeats on a trot from six outings.

Kolkata Knight Riders, owend by Shah Rukh Khan, too know they can bounce back to reckoning.

Sourav Ganguly, who also admitted that pressure was mounting as far as the home crowd was concerned, today said they would be playing with a new batting line-up against Banglaore to make up for the losses.

Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar has already been ruled out against Bangalore owing to 'fitness level condition'. But Akash Chopra finds a place in the fourteen probables to strengthen KKR's batting line-up.

Bowling spearheads Ishant Sharma, pacers Ashok Dinda, Omer Gul, Ajit Agarkar and slow bowlers David Hussey and Murali Kartik are also in the probable list served by coach John Buchanan.

With departure of Brendon McCullum, whose hurricane 156 would remains a perennial nightmare for Bangalore, Ganguly wanted a sound upfront to pick up early runs and Akash Chopra is expected to chip in.

Only overseas all rounder Mohammad Hafeez was dropped but other imported Brad Hodge and Salman Butt are also in the probable side.

The final list will be announced half-an-hour before start.

Opener W Jaffar, already declared unfit for play after an injury, and Rahul Dravid, have made 164 runs and topped in the list of his side for being the highest run getter. They will have to perform well if the visitors want to avenge their ignominous first defeat.

Ross Taylor and Virat Kohli, the two other batsmen followed their captain in picking runs and South African Jacques Kallis may pose danger to the dreams of Sourav Ganguly to come back in the reckoning.

Bangalore spearhead Zaheer Khan who has already taken 12 wickets, will have good assistance from Praveen Kumar, Steyn and Kallis in taming the hosts in front of an expected 80,000 spectators.

Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty made repeated visits to Eden Gardens to esnure security updates as many celebrities are expected to witness the crunch match, dubbed as a presitigious one of the fortnight.


Write Comments