Saturday, February 24, 2024 | Sha'ban 13, 1445 H
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Clash of the batting power houses

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Pranav Mehta

IPL Strokes

The IPL is moving towards its business end and all the teams are trying to put their best foot forward and give everything that they have left in their tank. The most interesting part is that, most of the lower half teams have found their momentum and

they are pulling the top teams back by beating them. Teams like Lucknow and Rajasthan have fallen into trouble, despite being in the top half, while teams like Delhi are trying to make a case for themselves.

With just 18 games to go in the league stage, it looks like Gujarat and Chennai should be able to qualify, the question is, who are going to be the other two? Hasn’t this been the best IPL of all times?


PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER – In a rain affected match, a free-flowing Punjab Kings, batting first, pilled on a massive 191/5 in 20 overs. While chasing, Kolkata kept losing wickets at regular intervals and still kept attacking.

Ultimately, rain played the party-pooper in the 16th over, when KKR were at 146/7. D/L showcased that Punjab Kings were 7 runs ahead.

TEAM INFO – Kolkata has been a batting paradise, where most games have been around 200 runs. When these two all-out attacking sides walk to the middle, the entertainment quotient will be at the maximum. Both these sides would also feel that they have some unfinished business, with rain shortening their previous encounter.

Head-to-Head - Played - 31; Won by KKR- 20; Won by PBKS – 11

KKR possible 12 – R Gurbaz, J Roy, V Iyer, N Rana, A Russell, R Singh, S Narine, S Thakur, V Arora, H Rana, V Chakaravarthy, S Sharma

PBKS possible 12 – P Singh, S Dhawan, M Short, L Livingstone, J Sharma, S Curran, S Khan, H Brar, R Dhawan, R Chahar, A Singh, N Ellis

Pitch & Weather Report – The Eden Gardens surface is well-known for its batting-friendly wickets. Because of the stadium's small size, it is a high-scoring venue in the shortest format of the game. Notably, the team which prefers to bowl first has a better chance of winning at this venue. Its going to be a slightly warm evening with the temperature being between 29 to 38

degrees Celsius.

Match Prediction – It goes without saying that the team bowling first stands a 80 per cent chance of winning the game, which makes the toss a very important factor. KKR has some real quality in their spin attack, but the size of the ground can neutralise them. The only concern with Kolkata is that, they haven’t batted well together and their bits and pieces contribution haven’t let them get across the line. I really believe that Punjab has a higher chance of winning this one. So, it's going to be 'Bhangra' at Kolkata.

FAN COMMENTS (Coaches Special)

Sports play a very important part in the growth and development of a child’s mind and body. With the development and growth of E-sports, kids have opted to stay indoors. In my opinion, irrespective of what outdoor sports they play, they should be playing for 1.5 to 2 hours, which is extremely essential. Just like in school they are taught an array of subjects, parents should make sure that as kids, they participate in multiple activities and sports. – Sandesh Dhuri, BSC/Level 3 Cricket Coach (from Sir Gary Kirsten), Indian.

I have played an integral part in the development of cricket in Oman and many youngsters are my contribution to Oman. Oman needs to place their high emphasis on development of grass root cricket and for that its important that parents support and guide their children to their nearest academies. Parents need to also be very aware on what their kids eat. – Muhammed

Asim, Level 3 Cricket Coach/PCB – Regional Performance Analyst (Karachi)

Cricket is quickly transforming and the cricket coaches play an extremely important role in the development of this game. That’s why we have a number of quality coaches, who allow the kids to grow their natural talent with minor changes to help them enhance their skills to the maximum. A lot of our academy kids have gone to play nationals, for which I would like to thank their

family for their persistent trust and support. Our's is the only academy in Oman to win Junior League championship in all categories. – Bhavesh Mehta, 45, Level 2 Cricket Coach & MCCC Academy Owner, Indian

The prime objective of a coach is to only guide and support the young kid. It is extremely important for the coach to make sure that the kid falls in love with this game, or else the learning would be very slow. Cricket now days have changed a lot, if you don’t make training and coaching sessions fun and entertaining, then it’s extremely difficult to catch the interest of the kid. I obviously vary the intensity from kid-to-kid, based on their capacity. – Pradeep Kumar, 43, Senior Cricket Coach/MCCC, Indian

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