Consistency will be the keyword for Kings XI Punjab when they enter the field to meet Royal Challengers at the home ground, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Despite having just 4 wins in 9 games, the Punjab side still harbours bright hopes of making it to the playoffs.
The only requirement would be consistent performances in the remaining matches of the league stages. As far as the numbers go, they need only four wins out of the five remaining games for a spot in the playoffs. They also would hope that Delhi Daredevils would lose more two or more matches out of their remaining five games.
The upcoming game against RCB will be a no less that a fresh start for Maxwell & Co. With an encouraging win on their kitty from the previous encounter against Delhi Daredevils, KXIP would want to maintain the momentum and make sure they don’t have to rely on complicated maths in order to move to the next level.
The two teams last met in the 8th match of this season. AB de Villiers’ blazing 89 off just 46 deliveries proved insufficient for RCB as KXIP bowling attack led by Varun Aaron restricted the opposition for just 148/4 in 20 overs. The Punjab bowlers took full advantage after being put to bowl first.
The target was put to rest in just 14.3 overs later as Hashim Amla (58 from 38 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (43 from 24 balls) team up and smashed the RCB bowlers all around the park. Opener Mana Vohra also made a healthy contribution of 34 from 21 deliveries.
W L W L L
Eoin Morgan will not be available for the rest of the season, having joined England for national duty. Although he wasn’t used more frequently in the XI, KXIP must have felt a bit of dent in their line-up.
Sandeep Sharma will test the out of rhythm stalwart likes Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle. The in-form bowlers will challenge the struggling titans to a great extent with the new ball. The competition will be highly exciting to see.
Krunal Pandya’s success against De Villiers should motivate Axar Patel to do well. The MI left-hander has an impeccable record of dismissing De Villiers on all fours occasion he met the star South African. Patel also is of the same type – accurate and faster than normal spinners which should help him gain some advantage.
Changes are not expected. Maxi would not like to rotate any of the men from the unit that won the previous game.
Here is the XI: Hashim Amla, Martin Guptill, Shaun Marsh, Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell (C), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Axar Patel, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, T Natarajan.