Kings XI Punjab is ready to host Kolkata Knight Riders; the two teams met only two days before and are ready to take on each other again. Kolkata will be ruing the fact that they were not able to score 13 runs of 12 balls that they needed to beat the Punjab team.
Punjab would have walked into the last match with dim hopes as they were competing one of the title contenders, but things will be a lot different when they will take on the Shah Rukh Khan’s team around. Punjab played with a lot of discipline in the last match and Adam Gilchrist will be hoping that his boys can repeat their performance.
Knight Riders will have to pull up their socks if they want to qualify for the play-offs. They have lost three matches out of the five that they have played and they will be hoping to get the monkey off their back. The match will be played on a good Mohali pitch, and players from both sides will be looking to get on with the act. Let’s have a look at some of the players who have an influence on the result.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Jacques Kallis: It is very rare to see Kallis not in the list of the top run-getters in any competition he plays in. One of the best all-rounders of all time is struggling with the bat; he has played some cute little innings but has definitely not reached the levels expected from him. Kallis will be hoping that he can play a substantial innings in this match, because his team really needs that.
Manoj Tiwary: He has looked in decent form and has played some handy knocks. There is huge pressure on this young lad as Yusuf Pathan is in miserable form. It is up to him to provide the late flair to his team. Tiwary is an intelligent cricketer and a calm customer, with the shots he has in his armory; he can be very effective on this Mohali wicket.
Lakshmipathy Balaji: He has already bowled a magical spell in this year’s IPL and his team will be expecting him to repeat his feat in today’s match. Balaji is well suited to this pitch as he has the ability to swing the ball and Mohali pitch has already given indication that it will suite the swing bowlers. Balaji is a witty customer and knows his strengths and weaknesses. It will be great fun to watch him bowl against Gilchrist.
Sunil Narine: He took five wickets the last time the two teams met. Punjab batsmen were all at sea against this gifted West Indian spinner. It will not be a surprise if Gambhir gives him the new ball against Gilchrist.
Kings XI Punjab:
David Hussey: He was looking in great touch in their last game and was the one batsman who looked comfortable against the KKR spinners and the whole of Punjab will want this destructive Aussie to come good. Hussey can change the course of a match in a matter of few overs with his huge hits. He is also very effective with his off-spinners.
Dimitri Mascarenhas: This Englishman is very well suited to T20 format. He is a powerful hitter of a cricket ball and can hit a long ball. Mascarenhas is dangerous in the death overs and can make the opposition bowlers pay. With the ball, he will lead the swing bowling department along with Praveen Kumar for KXIP.
Piyush Chawla: He was the man responsible for turning the match in the favor of Kings when the two teams met in the Eden Gardens. The Kolkata wicket did provide a lot of spin and that gave Chawla the incentive he needed. He once again will be in the game with his big leg-spinners and some well disguised googly.
Praveen Kumar: He bowled the penultimate over beautifully to setup Kings win. Praveen Kumar is one of the best exponents for India when it comes to swing bowling. He can trouble the batsmen with the new ball and has the ability of getting early wickets.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News