Friday, March 19, 2010

Knights finally seem to be riding in IPL

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Its just the first week in IPL and thre have been quite a few surprises. First season's champions Rajasthan Royals loosing both the matches they have played so far. Last year's champion Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings going down in their opening ties. But nothing has been more surprising that the resurgence of Kolkata Knight Riders. The team which looked like a bunch of school boys in the last season in South Africa has registering two convincing wins in their first two matches.

Start matters and when the Knight riders started their first match against the Deccan Chargers in Mumbai and were struggling at 0 for 2, fans were relived the agony of the last season. It seemed like the KKR had carried it's bad form from one continent to another even after a year. But some spirited effort from Owais Shah and Angelo Mathews lifted the Knights from the bottom giving them a respectable total to defend which they did successfully backed by some good bowling performance at the death.

Many critics have been arguing that Deccan Chargers lost the match more than Knight Riders having won it. But aren't sudden changes in the course of a match common in this slam bang version of the game. If their first match was a close one, their second versus the Royal Challengers Bangalore was clinical. Never in the match did RCB looked like threatening the Knights. It was almost the perfect kind of match any team would like to play having dominated the opposition throughout.

Sourav Ganguly has been a great player but more that that he has been an exceptional captain. In the two games that have been played so far there has been something in Ganguly's body language which says that he is not willing to bow down this time around. He bowling changes have yielded results for the Kinghts and he is showing huge faith in players like Manoj Tiwari who has returned his captain's gesture with a strokefull half century against the Royal Challengers.

Another plus for the Knights has been the way Ishant Sharma has bowled in the two games. He has brought in the much needed aggression that the team lacked in the last season. With Shane Bond yet to come to the party in the later part of the tournament, KKR might have one of the most formidable fast bowling attacks in the tournament. Add to that the flamboyant Chris Gayle, party just seems to have started for the Knight Riders.

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