Match 26, Eden Gardens
For many, these are the two teams that could reach the knockouts, and perhaps even do battle in the final if CSK continue to play the likes of Jadeja in their team. For now though, the news so far is that Sunil Narine—KKR’s winning weapon and their best bowler—has been reported once again for his action, and may not play the remainder of this tournament. This is sad news for many fans, but not surprising for cynics who have noted that this has happened coincidentally only a few days before KKR play eternal powerhouse CSK twice in three days. Something of the sort happened last year too, in the knockouts, but KKR managed to pull through in the end with their West Indian hero.
Before KKR face their biggest crisis again, they have to put up with the Royals, who have so far been the best team, and are looking good to steamroll most oppositions with three big World Cup winning Aussies in their lineup.
Here is a statistical breakdown of what to expect:
3: Number of wickets Narine managed this tournament.
3: Number of sitters dropped by Yusuf Pathan this tournament.
5: Number of extra bowlers KKR will have to play to fill Narine’s slot.
6: The difference in height (mts) between Morne Morkel and Ajinkya Rahane.
6: Number of players captain Watson must have from his own team in his fantasy 11.
8: Number of matches before people realize that another career that blossomed in RR, Sanju Samson, has virtually forgotten why he is playing cricket.
26: Number of 50s scored by captain Gautam Gambhir in the history of this tournament, the highest ahead of Raina and Rohit.
2.6: Probable percentage of Gambhir being retained in the Indian team, unless Shikhar, Rohit, Rahane, Vijay or KL Rahul get suspended together for not emulating Sachin Tendulkar.
45: Probable percentage Morkel will burst into tears if Faulkner, Smith or Watson smash his 4 overs for more than 40 runs.
55: Probable percentage mystery spinner KC Cariappa could replace Narine, and even be more effective than him.
65: Probable degree bend change required for any long-sleeved spinner to have legal bowling action again.