KXIP face a stern test against KKR
Having slumped to two successive defeats, Kings XI Punjab will be hoping to revive their fortune when they take on defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the Pepsi IPL 6 match in Mohali on Tuesday.
Lacklustre KXIP would be looking to exploit the home conditions against a strong Kolkata outfit, who got back to winning ways, outplaying Sunrisers Hyderabad by 48 runs on Sunday at their home ground.
Kings XI had began their campaign on a winning note against Pune Warriors but had failed to sustain the momentum against Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
In fact, in their match against Rajasthan last night, they were handed a royal thrashing with the opposition running away with a comfortable six-wicket win.
The biggest problem for the Adam Gilchrist-led side is that it had failed to utilise its full 20 overs in the last two games.
The team folded in the 20th over against CSK, whereas it lost the plot in the 19th over against formidable the Royals.
For Kings XI to make a contest against KKR, who start as clear favourites at the PCA Stadium tomorrow, they would need the likes of Gilchrist, David Hussey, Mandeep Singh, Gurkeerat Singh, R Sathish to fire in unison.
David Hussey has been the lone bright spot in KXIP’s batting line up and they would expect him to continue his good show.
As far as their bowling is concerned, Praveen Kumar will spearhead the attack with Ryan Harris, Azhar Mahmood and Parvinder Awana in the ranks. Even spinner Piyush Chawla is yet to play to his potential.
The hosts need all their bowlers to play like a unit to make an impact against KKR.
On the other hand, the Knight Riders are well aware that against a weak opposition they stand a good chance to improve their tally at the league stage and hence, they would everything to go for that kill.
KKR would look to repeat their power-packed batting performance of last night against Hyderabad.
Significant contributions from skipper Gautam Gambhir (53), Eoin Morgan (47) and Jacques Kallis (41) enabled KKR to reach a commanding 180 for four on a slow track. But the Sunrisers didn’t have the firepower to make a match of it and they managed only 132 for seven, even as the bowlers tightened the nooze.
It was a team effort and nothing less than that would satisfy the Knight Riders tomorrow as well.
The likes of Brett Lee and Laxmipathy Balaji on the fast and bouncy Mohali wicket would be a treat to watch.
Besides, ‘mystery spinner’ Sunil Narine is a dangerous turner of the ball.
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