Match Preview – Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders
PROBABLE XI of KXIP v KKR:
KINGS XI PUNJAB:
The Kings XI could well retain the same XI.
1. M. Vijay 2. V. Sehwag 3. W. Saha 4. G. Maxwell 5. D. Miller 6. G. Bailey 7. A. Patel 8. M. Johnson 9. R. Dhawan 10. S. Sharma 11. A. Singh
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS:
The Knight Riders will be forced to make a change as Shakib Al Hasan is off for his national duties.
1. G. Gambhir 2. R. Uthappa 3. M. Pandey 4. S. Yadav 5. R. ten Doeschate 6. Y. Pathan 7. A. Russel 8. P. Chawla 9. M. Morkel 10. S. Narine 11. K. Carriappa/ K. Yadav/ U. Yadav
The finalists of the previous edition of the IPL are all set to clash at the MCA stadium in Pune on the 18th of April 2015. The Kings from the land of Punjab have not played to their potential at all so far. In the three games that they have featured in, they just have one solitary win. The win came against the struggling Mumbai Indians. In their previous outing against the Delhi Daredevils, the Punjabis were defeated as they failed to defend a respectable total. The batting glitz of young Mayank Agarwal and the veteran Yuvraj Singh snatched the game away from the Kings XI.
The Knight Riders have played well. After winning their first game against the Mumbai Indians, they lost against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. More importantly, they didn’t lose to a team; they lost to a beast called Chris Gayle. Gayle was simply fantastic. On the 18th though, one can expect a close encounter between the two talented sides.
In the 2014 edition of the IPL, the two sides met each other on four occasions! In the first one, a low scoring game was witnessed in Abu Dhabi. Batting first, the Kings XI batsmen disappointed and got to just 132-9. Nonetheless, still that total was beyond KKR’s reach. The Knight Riders were all out for 109 as the Kings XI bowlers were simply fantastic. Young pacer Sandeep Sharma was the Man of the Match for his riveting spell of 4 -23-3.
The teams met for the second time at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The Kings XI again batted first and made a below par total. Virender Sehwag scored almost 50% of the team total as his knock of 72 was in vain. Skipper Gautam Gambhir led from the front and chased the total within 18 overs. Gambhir was named the Man of the Match for his innings of 63.
The first qualifier at the iconic Eden Gardens was the third occasion when these teams locked horns. Batting first, the Knight Riders made 163-7, thanks to contributions from everyone. It was a complete team effort. The Kings XI were dented big time by Umesh Yadav whose accuracy got the better of the Kings XI batsmen. His spell of 4-13-3 proved to be the knockout punch for the Kings. The men from Punjab could only manage a mere total of 135. The hosts advanced directly into the finals.
The last time these teams met in the all important IPL final. The Kings XI were on a high after comprehensively beating the Chennai Super Kings. Gautam Gambhir chose to field and it was a rather good decision. The Kings XI were rocked early and were 30-2 in five overs. Then began a dream partnership between two highly talented Indian batsmen. Saha and Manan Vohra contributed 129 for the third wicket in just 12 overs. Saha notched up his maiden IPL ton. The Knight Riders needed exactly 200 to win. Manish Pandey was at his destructive best from the start and made a fine 94. The Knight Riders won with 3 balls to spare, as Piyush Chawla finished the IPL in style!
The Kings XI opener has got off to starts in all the games. But somewhere, he has failed to capitalize. He needs to support Sehwag efficiently if they Punjabis are to get to a high total. There is no doubt over his talent, but time is running out for him. If Vijay fails to do well, then he may well be replaced by Manan Vohra.
Like Vijay, Maxwell too has failed big time. The Aussie sensation has endured a disastrous start in this IPL. He urgently needs to find form. If he fails to perform, then he soon may be a liability for the Kings XI, as Shaun Marsh is busy warming the benches.
The Karnataka batsman scored 600+ runs in the previous IPL. In the last game against the Royal Challengers, Uthappa got off to a start, but failed to convert the 35 into a fifty plus score. His brisk starts are a necessity for the Knight Riders.
Ever since he has remodeled his action, Narine has looked like his poor shadow. In the two games he has featured in, Narine has hardly looked threatening. His deliveries aren’t turning at all and he no longer is a mystery. The Trinidadian quickly needs to sort things out before the batsmen prey on him
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