IPL 2017: Match Meter- Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Kings XI Punjab- Match Prediction!
After suffering a heart-breaking loss against Mumbai Indians on Sunday (April 9), Kolkata Knight Riders will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they host high-flying Kings XI Punjab on Thursday (April 13).
Kolkata was looking destined to win their second match of the tournament when Mumbai Indian were in need of 57 from the final three overs. However, some exceptional batting by Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya in addition to some poor fielding by Kolkata saw Mumbai walk away with all the two points.
On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab, who finished the last two seasons as the bottom-ranked side, is looking a different team altogether under their new skipper Glenn Maxwell. They have registered comfortable victories against Rising Pune Supergiant and Royal Challengers Bangalore and will be keen to continue the winning streak.
First, we will take a look at the home team. The loss against Mumbai turned even more sour for the two-time champions when their in-form opener Chris Lynn suffered a nasty shoulder injury while fielding. As of now, nothing official has been heard on his availability but he is looking set to miss the game. If that happens then the tried and tests openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa are likely to open the innings. Manish Pandey is looking in good form but the other batsmen will be looking to contribute more especially after failure against Mumbai Indians. Shakib Al Hasan is likely to be included in the playing eleven if Lynn misses out.
The spinner is looking in good form and has managed to do well in the middle overs but the form of pacers will be a big headache for the hosts.
On the other hand, the visitors are looking settled in all departments. Hashim Amla has provided the solidity up the order while Glenn Maxwell has fully capitalised on the starts. These are still early days to comment on the other batsmen but overall the batting unit is looking compact. The bowling is also looking in good form with Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel leading the pace and spin departments brilliantly.
View on think tank:
KKR: The death bowling is a major area of concern for the home team. In the last two matches, they have conceded 175-plus totals and with Glenn Maxwell in good form, they will have their task cut out. Failure of middle-order batsmen is another area that the team would be looking to sort out before the match.
KXIP: For the time being, they have no such area which needs to be sorted out ahead of the game.
Tracking the strength:
KKR: The form of the top-order will give the home team a lot of confidence ahead of the match. Both Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey are in good form and if Lynn makes it to the team, then they will have the firepower to blow away any bowling lineup.
KXIP: Glenn Maxwell and the bowlers’ form. The captain has led from the front in both the matches, scoring 44* and 43* while the bowlers have managed to restrict the opposition to below par totals.
Possibilities in the lineups:
KKR: Shakib Al Hasan is likely to get the nod if Chris Lynn fails to recover from the bad-looking shoulder injury. Umesh Yadav, who joined the team earlier this week, is also likely to replace Ankit Rajpoot in the playing eleven.
KXIP: The visitors are likely to retain the playing eleven that beat Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday (April 10). Mohit Sharma was taken to the cleaners by AB de Villiers but considering the fact that the Eden Garden pitch is likely to assist the pacers, he is expected to retain his place.
KKR have earned the bragging rights of this fixture by winning 12 of the 19 matches they have played against KXIP. The visitors have won the other seven games.
The Eden Garden pitch is set to behave differently from the way it has behaved in the past seasons and so predicting a high scoring game does not make much sense. Team batting second is likely to have the last laugh as they will have more knowledge about the pitch when they come out to bat.
But keeping in mind the current form, Kings XI Punjab have the upper hand.
Playing XI of both the teams:
Gautam Gambhir(c), Robin Uthappa(w), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav.
Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Axar Patel, Glenn Maxwell(c), David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan, Varun Aaron
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