Kolkata too has established itself as a force to reckon in this IPL. A far cry from its failed status of the previous editions, the outfit from the East has shown that they are not to be taken lightly. The Knight Riders' last victory over the Rajasthan Royals was as emphatic as they come - bundling the opposition out for a meagre 81 before running down the target with 8 wickets remaining.
Now, the upcoming clash between the Tuskers and the Knightriders presents a mouth-watering prospect. Both sides have solid top-orders as demonstrated in their last couple of matches. For the Tuskers, opener Brendon McCullum appears to be in the form of his life, coming up with 81 off 60 against the Mumbai Indians and 47 off 33 versus CSK. While Parthiv Patel is a welcome inclusion at No. 3, Ravindra Jadeja has shown that he has the firepower to biff a few shots when the matches reaches its climax.
Meanwhile, the Knightriders' captain Gautam Gambhir is etching a reputation for himself as a match-finisher, remaining not out on 75 and 35 in the games against the Royals. But opener Jacques Kallis could do with a little more consistency, having made 80 and then a duck in the same matches. Then the mettle of the likes of Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan are yet to be adequately tested as they haven't gotten much opportunity to bat.
Finally, it seems the Knightriders' bowling has a slight edge over the Tuskers, especially with the three premier bowlers in Brett Lee, Laxmipathy Balaji and Shakib Al Hasan taking 6 wickets between them for under 6 an over in the last match. The Tuskers' pace trio of R P Singh, Vinay Kumar and Thisara Perera don't have quite the same wicket taking verve, though they did bowl tightly in the match against CSK.