The teams of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face each other on Saturday in the 24th match of the 13th season of IPL. This match will be played in Abu Dhabi from 3.30 pm.
The Punjab team has lost four matches in a row and is at the bottom of the points table. The play-off race is becoming increasingly difficult for this team, which has won only one win in six matches. Kolkata, on the other hand, are in fourth place with 6 points with 3 wins from 5 matches.
KKR vs KXIP: What do the figures say ..?
Talking of IPL records, there have been 25 matches (2008-2019) between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. Kolkata has won 17, while Punjab has won 8.
KKR’s challenge will be even more difficult for Punjab team, who lost the previous match to Sunrisers Hyderabad by 69 runs, who have a good mix of young and experienced players.
After a poor performance in some matches, KKR has joined the strong contenders for the title. Shubman Gill is impressing as an opener, while Rahul Tripathi has great confidence. He had scored 81 runs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Sunil Naren has returned to form with bat and ball after his initial failures. Eoin Morgan’s presence in the middle order gives strength to the team and Nitish Rana has also impressed. Andre Russell, however, has not yet shown the form for which he is known.
The cause of concern for KKR is the poor form of captain Dinesh Karthik. He failed even after landing at number three in the beginning of the tournament and could not do anything amazing at number seven in the last match. However, he captained well against Chennai, especially the changes in bowling were effective.
Apart from Kamlesh Nagerkoti and Shivam Mavi, Pat Cummins is in the fast bowling, while the spin will be handled by Naromar and Varun Chakraborty.
Batting for Kings XI Punjab will be on KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. If Chris Gayle is fit then he will play the first match in this IPL. He was a victim of ‘food poisoning’. If he starts the innings with KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal can be fielded at number three. In such a situation, Glenn Maxwell can be excluded.
Bowling of the death overs has been a matter of concern for Punjab and it will have to be given special attention against a strong team like KKR.
The teams are as follows –
Kings xi punjab
KL Rahul (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Shami, Mujib ur Rehman, Karun Nair, James Neesham, Nicholas Pooran, Ishaan Porel, Arshadip Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Krishnappa Gautam, Harpreet Brar, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Simran Singh, Jagdish Suchit, Tajinder Singh, Hardas Willogen.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik (captain and wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Loki Ferguson, Nitish Rana, famous Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Naren, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakraborty, Tom Benton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik.