Confident Kings XI face Kolkata

Confident Kings XI face Kolkata

Their campaign back on track after back-to-back victories, Kings XI Punjab would look to build on the momentum when they clash with Kolkata Knight Riders at their home turf in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.

big game Skipper Gautam Gambhir’s form will be crucial for Knight Riders when they take on Kings XI Punjab. AP

After two initial losses, KXIP bounced back with two consecutive victories — one at home against Pune Warriors and the other against Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens a couple of days back. Having beaten the same opponents at their home bastion, though with a narrow two-run margin, KXIP would start morrow’s match at the PCA Stadium with more confidence while the Knight Riders would look to make it even. Both sides have some things in common as each had to taste two losses in as many games at the beginning before bouncing back.

Like Kings XI (four points from four matches), the Knight Riders (four points from five matches) went on to win the next two games before losing their fifth game. Another thing the two teams share is the inconsistent form of their top-order batsmen. That includes Kings XI skipper Adam Gilchrist, who made five in the previous match, and is yet to hit a big knock. His Australian compatriot Shaun Marsh also disappointed in the match against KKR, making just one run. The batting hero of last year’s edition Paul Valthaty has failed to impress so far and did not play in the last match. However, Mandeep Singh looked in good form and David Hussey’s presence in the last game has bolstered the batting, with bowlers Piyush Chawla and Bipul Sharma showing they too can play some useful knocks.

For the Riders, too much dependence has been put on the top order, including captain Gautam Gambhir and experienced South African campaigner Jacques Kallis, and it’s time for others to step up and be counted. Gambhir had laid the blame on his middle-order batsmen for his side’s loss to Kings XI after restricting them to 134, saying it’s time they shoulder more responsibility. As against Kings XI who won their lone home match so far, KKR have managed to win only one game out of three they have played so far at their home . Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla and Dutch all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate have the capability to trouble Kings XI bowlers and the team will be hoping they turn the tables against Kings XI.

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