Millennium Post

Will birthday boy Sachin deliver against KKR?

They have drawn a blank in away games, and even lost at home. Now, with their backs to the wall, it is the proverbial ‘do or die’ situation for holders Kolkata Knight Riders as they take on perennial underachievers Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Wednesday.

After losing four of six games, including one on home turf, the Knight Riders’ title defence seems to be in jeopardy, with only four points in their kitty so far. However, the hosts’ opponents at the Eden Gardens are not doing any better, mustering just half a dozen points from as many games to be sixth on the points table, one rung above the Knight Riders for Wednesday. With batting legend Sachin Tendulkar completing 40 on the match day, his teammates would surely hope to present him a win as a birthday gift. While the Cricket Association of Bengal has organised a special celebration to mark the day, wishes from across the world have already started to pour in. The stand out wish has come from former Australian opener Mathew Hayden who described the master blaster as one ‘above the game of cricket itself and called him the ‘Indian Don Bradman’. The Eden crowd which has witnessed many memorable knocks from Sachin would hope the ‘birthboy’ treats them with yet another masterly inning.

While their bowling led by West Indies spinner Sunil Narine has looked splendid, batting blues are hunting the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise. Both skipper Gautam Gambhir and coach Trevor Bayliss have found their willowers guilty of committing ‘schoolboy errors’.

Gambhir and Englishman Eoin Morgan have fired with the bat, but the rest, including big hitting Yusuf Pathan and pivot Jacques Kallis, have looked mere shadows of themselves.
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