The setting is perfect for the Eliminator to be staged in the Eden Gardens Kolkata as one of the two teams playing in this game is KKR. They will be playing against Rajasthan Royals in what promises to be a riveting contest.
However, rain gods may play a part to spoil the contest as there are chances of the game being interfered by it. As per Met department, “one or two spells” of shower and thunderstorms are expected during the course of day, though by 2 pm on Wednesday, no rains had arrived. The Eden Gardens has excellent drainage, witnessed most recently in the drawn Test between India and Sri Lanka in November last year, where the ground staff worked extremely hard to ensure there was play on the last day when Indian pacers almost pulled off a stunning win on that muggy evening.
The pitch was kept under covers last night, and the moisture that must have seeped in is likely to affect team’s playing combinations. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have shown the preference to field their three spinners – Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla – and Rajasthan Royals also boast of a useful spin trio of Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal and Ish Sodhi. It would be interesting to see how the teams adjust to the rain threat.
Interestingly, even last year’s Eliminator was marred by downpour. That match, featuring KKR and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) was played in Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium and the then Gautam Gambhir-led side prevailed by seven wickets.
If the match is washed out, KKR will make it to Qualifier 2 – to be played in Kolkata on 25 April against SRH – based on their better ranking on points table; the Dinesh Karthik-led side occupy third place while RR are placed fourth.