In the song “Leaving the Past”, there’s a line which says “I freestyle my destiny, it’s not written in pages.” Kings XI Punjab face a herculean task of winning three back to back matches against three top sides of the tournament. Even three wins may not be enough to qualify for playoffs if Sunrisers win against Gujarat Lions in their next match. Here are th Preview and Match Result Predictions for Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders.
In the last match, Kings XI lost against the depleted Gujarat Lions side owing to some ordinary catching and a no ball fiasco. Sandeep Sharma was issued a no-ball for going around the wicket to the left-handed Ishan Kishan without informing the on-field official Nand Kishore. Kings XI players became a little frustrated by this event and lost their focus on the match.
ALSO READ : Lalit Modi leaks MS Dhoni’s offer letter
In first of their three must win games, they will be up against the roaring KKR. And without the services of in form batsman Hashim Amla, who left the side for national duty. David Miller would also leave alongside him.
Kolkata Knight Riders have put their campaign back on track as they demolished RCB once again in their last match. This victory came after two succcessive defeats. Their focus has now shifted to retain their second spot in the standings to have two cracks at the final. They would like to continue the eight match winning streak against KXIP.
Mohali has always favoured the batsman. Chasing would be easy here and both the captains would be looking to bat second on winning the toss. There is a slight chance of rain.
KINGS XI PUNJAB – STRENGTHS
Sandeep Sharma is looking dangerous with the new ball. His swing in the powerplay overs has unravelled the opposition’s plans of capitalising the fielding restrictions. Axar Patel has impressed with his all round abilities. He has provided the breakthrough in the middle overs and has been more than useful with the bat at death. Shaun Marsh is the ideal one to take on the responsibilty of spearheading the batting after Amla’s departure. Glenn Maxwell has proved his utility with the ball in the last few matches.
KINGS XI PUNJAB – WEAKNESSES
With Amla and Miller joining their South African teammates for national duty, their batting wears a deserted look. Varun Aaron has leaked away too much runs. The poor form of Maxwell with the bat is a big concern for them. The way Kings XI let Gujarat off the hooks despite posting a reasonable total exposed their inability to handle pressure. Can Maxwell and co. raise their performances in must win game and that too against a formidable side like KKR?
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – STRENGTHS
The astonishing display of power hitting by Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn has been phenomenal. Out of the box thinking of opening with Narine has worked wonders for KKR. Nobody would have even given a thought that Sunil Narine would hit the fastest half century of IPL. Chris Lynn’s return at the top has bolstered their batting line up. The fit again in form Robin Uthappa is slated to make a comeback into the playing XI. Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes are amongst wickets.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – WEAKNESSES
Colin de Grandhomme hasn’t contributed much with the ball. Yusuf Pathan has also not fired with the bat. Sheldon Jackson’s poor form with the bat means that their lower middle order looks a little bleak.
KXIP – The home side is now without the services of these overseas players – Hashim Amla, David Miller, Eoin Morgan and Marcus Stoinis. Nathu Singh is also out of IPL due to injury. This means either Darren Sammy or Matt Henry would get a game here. Manan Vohra is also expected to make a comeback.
Martin Guptill, Manan Vohra, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell(capt), Gurukeerat Singh Mann, Wridhhiman Saha(wk), Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Darren Sammy, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma
KKR – If Robin Uthappa is deemed fit, then he will replace Sheldon Jackson. Kuldeep Yadav may also make a comeback in place of Piyush Chawla. There has been no word on the availability of Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir(c), Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Ankit Rajpoot, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Played – 20, KXIP – 6, KKR – 14.
Earlier this season at Eden Gardens, KKR chased down KXIP score of 171 riding on Sunil Narine’s blitz and Gambhir’s half century.
As KXIP face the knockout situation and KKR looking to finish among top two, this is expected to be a closely fought encounter. Here’s what we predict
If KKR bats first
1st Innings Score: 180 – 190
KXIP wins by 5 wickets
If KXIP bats first
1st Innings Score: 180 – 190
KKR wins by 5 wickets.