By CricketCountry Staff
Hyderabad: Sep 19, 2011
Most of the interest in the qualifying stages of the Champions League T20 2011 was focussed on Pool B - simply because the most high profile team of the qualifiers, the Kolkata, are in this pool.
It's an interesting mix of teams in pool B, with one T20 league winner (Auckland), one runner-up (Somerset) and one losing semi-finalist (Kolkata). With each team having only two matches to play in the single-league qualifiers, each match is a very important one for the teams.
Auckland are coached by the wily Paul Strang, who played with distinction for Zimbabwe at a time when the African nation was a much stronger unit than it is right now, in the mid to late 1990s. In both on-field and off-field personnel thus, Auckland have good men to rely on.
The qualifiers concept has given the Kolkata a first shot at the Champions League, since they lost the third place match in the IPL and would have not been a part of this tournament under the old rules. They will be without the man who got them to the semi-finals though, with Gautam Gambhir not yet recovered fully.
Jacques Kallis will be the captain along with their key player, while amongst the Indian recruits, Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary should be the men to look out for. Leading the pace attack will be Brett Lee, who still has the ability to change a game in a short, fast, furious spell.