You have to wonder what Sourav Ganguly makes of the boasts coming out of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Vinay Kumar, the Bangalore paceman, claims they deliberately targeted Sachin Tendulkar with in-swingers in their seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians on Saturday. "Most Indian batsmen are uncomfortable facing in-swingers," said Kumar, who took three wickets in an over, including Tendulkar's, to condemn Mumbai to their first defeat in this IPL season. That is a big statement to make about a man such as Tendulkar, who has scored more than 30,000 runs in international cricket and 93 centuries.
Will Ganguly follow Kumar's lead as he tries to halt the Kolkata Knight Riders' losing streak? Ganguly has opened the Indian batting with Tendulkar in more than 230 one-day internationals. They have scored 6,609 runs together and produced 20 partnerships of more than 100. He should know the Little Master's batting weaknesses - if there are any - better than most and can use that experience when his Knight Riders face the Indians in Mumbai tonight. The Knight Riders had started their IPL campaign with victories in their first two games, but have lost twice since.
"We just have to win, have to play well ... just got to deal with the pressure," said Ganguly, the Kolkata captain. "We have the potential ... we just have to put it together. We need to bowl well and need to show more intensity on the field." Robin Singh, the Indians' coach, has called for a better team performance after the defeat to the Royal Challengers. "In Twenty20, every team are pretty strong. It does not matter how good the team are on paper. You have to play well to do well," he said. firstname.lastname@example.org