Tarot reader Shruti Chopra looks into her cards to give CricketCountry.com readers insights into what lies ahead in the IPL matches. In the below piece, she dwells into the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders game – the first of the two IPL matches scheduled for Tuesday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Despite a strong performance against Delhi in their previous game, Bangalore may just play inconsistently on Tuesday. They will play well in phases, which they will recognise. Hence it will be crucial for them to regain their balance. It will be very important to stay focused while making runs, and should try and utilise their first 10 overs well, especially overs 5-10.
Everyone will need to play as a team to see an outcome of their choice, since this may be a challenge for them.
The Seven of Swords suggests that Daniel Vettori will have various plans, but more importantly, he will be lucky to have the support of his team. Otherwise his performance as a captain may be patchy. He will need to grab on to opportunities handed over by the opposition.
Muttiah Muralitharan takes pressure very well and will rise up to any challenge before him. He will be hard to keep out of the game; he just won't give up and as the Judgement cards shows, he should get results too.
Cheteshwar Pujara is represented by the King of Pentacles, meaning he will work hard and successfully to accumulate runs.
AB deVilliers will put up a strong fight, but he should be careful in his shot selection as he could be vulnerable early on.
Virat Kohli will have put his anxieties behind him and apply his efforts into the game. As a batsman, he will work hard and will stick to his game plan.
Vinay Kumar is another balanced individual who will be ready for the challenge. He will be a team player; wise and focused.
Chris Gayle is looking very eager to start his Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign. If he is played, he will be surprisingly steady, like the Queen of Swords, in the initial part of his innings and then take off later in playing his natural game.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will enjoy the ambience away from home which will help them rise to the challenge. They will come into the match with a positive mindset, and as the Ten of Cups indicates, play as a cohesive unit. Stability and strong partnerships are what they will strive to build and will be succeed in doing so.
Gautam Gambhir will show hints of positivity. He will be more balanced, but it would be better if he loosens up a bit more. He should soak in the atmosphere and the moment and be a bit relaxed. His anxiousness has the tendency to rub off on to his players; his approach, therefore, will be the key. At the same time, as the match progresses, Gambhir will realise this and the change will be seen.
Debabrata Das will be very calculative and play a smart game by shifting gears when required.
Brandon McCullum will have a challenge in overcoming some of his barriers but will, nevertheless, end up batting well.
Yusuf Pathan has a great opportunity to be the team player he is and be the stability the team will need.
Lakshmipathy Balaji, if played, can provide bowling stability, but his rustiness will be evident.
Manoj Tiwary won't come into the game with the best focus, but if he sticks around in the innings, he will show off his skills. It's just his initial start that may not have the right balance.
Jacques Kallis surprisingly won't have the best day. He won't be making the best judgments. If he manages to improve his mental strength, then that's what might save him, otherwise it's not looking like a good day for him.
Shakib Al Hasan has been beautifully represented by the Sun and should be played in this match. He will bring with him the much-required freshness and success to the bowling line-up.
Ryan ten Doeschate will be able to make the all-round support of the team much stronger. He, like the Emperor will be in command of his game against Bangalore.
Who has the advantage?
It's looking like a Kolkata Knight Rider's day, moreso because Bangalore are looking patchy and KKR are likely to play freely. It will be beneficial for KKR if they bat first and bring in Shakib and ten Doeschate. Changes in the team should contribute towards their first win.
(London-born Shruti Chopra was introduced to cricket by her two older brothers. She spent some of her childhood time inDelhi and became an Indian cricket fan. She has remained an unflinching and passionate Indian cricket fan even after moving back to London, setting 3.00 am alarms to watch India play Test matches. It was during the 2011 World Cup that she brought together her passion for cricket with her profession of Tarot Reading, looking at the cards in the hope of spotting an India win coming through - which it did! You can know more about Shruti via Facebook, Twitter and her website)