Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab

April 30, 2011

The Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Kings XI Punjab, with both teams going in with the knowledge that a win in this game would serve as a major push towards them sealing a spot in the last 4.

Kolkata Knight Riders

The Kolkata Knight Riders have so far been un-Kolkata like in IPL IV, they have displayed consistency that had somehow betrayed them in the first three editions and this has helped the team form a solid team capable of winning the league.

The team’s main strength is their balance and all round strength. They boast of many handy all-rounders, including world class ones. A batting line up that boasts of the likes of Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan speaks for itself. Add to this the likes of the in-form Manoj Tiwary and the likes of Shakib al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate and you have a line up that bats deep and bats with power.

The host of all rounders in the team means their captain, Gambhir, is not short of bowling options. In Brett Lee and Laxmipathy Balaji, KKR have solid opening bowlers. Jaidev Unadkat and Iqbal Abdullah have played tremendous supporting acts so far. Should any one of these fail, Gambhir always has either one of Kallis, Pathan, Shakib and ten Doeschate to fall back on.

Kings XI Punjab

Punjab have been the dark horses in the tournament, but the form of Paul Valthaty transformed the team from being banana skin for tournament favourites to genuine contenders. Valthaty’s form has given the team the belief that they can beat anyone.

Apart from Valthaty, Shaun Marsh too has hit form. The left hander hit a defiant 95 at more than 2 runs a ball in their last game against Delhi, but that was not enough to lift them to victory. With Adam Gilchrist, Dinesh Karthik and David Hussey also present, the team doesn’t look bereft of quality batting.

In the bowling front, Praveen Kumar has been left with a little too much to do up front. The UP lad has taken the responsibility in his stride and given the team vital breakthroughs, but he and the team will benefit greatly if any one of Ryan Harris, Piyush Chawla, etc. perform better.

Players to watch out for

Jacques Kallis: Kallis has been underperforming with the bat for KKR for the last few games. The all rounder will want to get back to his usual ways with a big knock.

David Hussey: Hussey hasn’t been given enough chances this term with the Kings XI team. He could not do too much to stop the Delhi juggernaut in their last game, but he will be more motivated than ever to leave an impact today.

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