After a strong start to the Indian Premier League campaign this season, Kolkata Knight Riders now find themselves in a spot of bother with just one game left to play.
Showing some consistency in the early stage, KKR, who lost to Gujarat Lions on Thursday have now picked up just two points from their last four games and are currently in the 4th place with just 12 points from 13 games.
The Delhi Daredevils, the Mumbai Indians, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore are three teams fighting for the bottom two spots in the points table with the first two places all but fixed.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have been splendid this season and have 16 points from 12 games and have already qualified for the knock-out phase while the Lions, who took KKR to the cleaners recently in a crucial game also have 16 points on the board with a game in hand.
The 4 teams battling for the two spots, KKR, RCB, and MI are all level on points and games played.
But the toughest route to the next stage is for the Kolkata franchise who need to win the game against the table toppers SRH on Sunday.
Even then, they will have to depend on other results to get them through but the in-form player and skipper Gautam Gambhir felt that his team’s fortunes are in their own hands.
“You turn up to win a game and destiny is in our own hands. We have to play good cricket if we have to win the tournament,” Gambhir said, talking to the media after the Lions game.
The Lions vs Mumbai Indians game and the last game between RCB and DD will be important for the points table as the whole complexion can change with the result of just one of those games.
However, KKR, if are out of the tournament come the end of the group stage, will surely rue their loss against the Lions.
On a green wicket, the Knight Riders failed to apply themselves and lost quick wickets thanks to a superb spell of bowling from Dwayne Smith for the Lions and were bundled out for a mere 124.
Gambhir explained that it was an off day for the whole team and that nothing worked according to the plans.
“It was a decent wicket. We could have scored 150-160. When you end up with 124 it is difficult to restrict the opposition. It was one of those days where nothing worked for us,” he explained.
He went on to say that it was now important for the squad to be at their best for the game on Sunday and that they should not think about the other games and other results.
With the points table so closely matched, this season of the IPL after a slow start is set to be one of the most exciting editions of the tournament.