IPL 10, Match 22, KXIP v MI: Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI

A win against the Mumbai Indians will be crucial for KXIP before they are left with too much to do at the latter stages of the tournament.

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Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The slump seems to be boomeranging on the Kings XI Punjab as they once again find themselves in the bottom half of the table. Their performances have had an all-too-familiar air of inconsistency, which have cost them three games on the trot. Quite like his long list of predecessors, skipper Glenn Maxwell finds himself at sea.

In spite of a brilliant start to the tournament with two convincing victories, the Kings XI Punjab are once again converging towards the wooden spoon. Currently, it’s their net run rate which is keeping them afloat at the fifth position, but if things don’t take a turn for KXIP, it’s only a matter of time before they crash out of the tournament.

Come Thursday, the Kings XI Punjab will face off against the Mumbai Indians at their adopted home ground in Indore. The onus will be on the entire team to play as a unit and get back to winning ways. In spite of playing four quality overseas batsmen, the Kings XI batting line-up seems to always depend on one particular batsman on a given day. Most recently, it was Manan Vohra, whose heroic 95 was in vain, simply because there was nobody at the other end to stick around.

Although the Kings XI Punjab side doesn’t have a single overseas bowler, their bowling line-up has kept things quite under control. On a sluggish Hyderabad pitch, the experience of Ishant Sharma came in handy. All in all, the Indian contingent in the KXIP team have done a pretty good job so far. It’s time the overseas players step up to the task of delivering with the bat.

Having lost their last three matches, the Kings XI are in need of a fresh start. The Kings XI Punjab have played two games in Indore and have won both. With this being their last game at the Holkar Stadium before they move to Mohali, KXIP will look to end their Indore outing on a high note. This isn’t exactly a desperate situation for the Kings XI Punjab, but it might soon turn into one if they fail to register a couple of consecutive victories. A win against the Mumbai Indians will be crucial for KXIP before they are left with too much to do in the latter stages of the tournament.

The team will focus on playing to their strengths as they clash against two-time champions Mumbai Indians. Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Kings XI Punjab.

Openers (Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra)

Calmness and class are common traits in both openers for the Kings XI Punjab. The duo has a knack of quietly going about their job. Both are free scorers who can pick gaps at will or even take the aerial route when necessary.

Hashim Amla’s name is, of course, etched in South Africa’s cricketing history. However, he hasn’t had quite the impact on the Indian Premier League as people would have expected of him. Amla is the epitome of cool and calmness on the cricket field and exudes refinery in his batting. His unbeaten 58 against the Royal Challenges Bangalore was a glimpse of his exquisite strokeplay. Amla will look to better that score against the Mumbai Indians and set up a match-winning performance for his side.

At the other end, Manan Vohra is another cool customer. He has given Punjab a steady start on many an occasion but was thought to be incapable of converting them into the big ones. Vohra, however, proved his critics wrong with a fantastic knock. He defied a tricky pitch and took some of the better bowlers in the Sunrisers side to the cleaners. Vohra went on to produce one the most masterly innings in IPL history scoring 95 of 50 balls, which almost took his team over the finish line.

Both openers complement each other perfectly. They can match each other shot for shot. Moreover, while Amla can pierce the gaps to guide the ball to the boundary ropes, the small man Vohra can often clear them with surprising ease.

Top order (Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan)

In Glenn Maxwell and Eoin Morgan, the Kings XI Punjab have two of the most aggressive hitters of the cricket ball. While both have the ability to rev up their strikes to astonishing levels with their monstrous hits, they also resort to deft touch. Morgan and Maxwell are cheeky and innovative batsmen, who can play the most unexpected shots and perplex the bowler completely. Be it the reverse sweeps or the switch hits, these two have all the shots in and out of the book.

In particular, Glenn Maxwell has the added responsibility of captaining the side this season. Being the 9th captain of the Kings XI Punjab, all eyes will be on the Aussie to turn things around for the team. Maxwell will surely look to lead from the front with the bat, hence easing the pressure off his bowlers.

Middle and lower middle order (David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Axar Patel)

In the KXIP middle order, there’s one name which stands out for his sheer power. David Miller is one of the fiercest hitters of the ball in world cricket. Unfortunately for him, his capacity now stands out in disproportion with the runs he’s scored in the IPL.

David Miller has scored 83 runs in 5 matches so far, with a highest score of 30 not out. It’s been far too long since he last played a whirlwind innings. The hard-hitting left-hander has an inclination towards clearing the boundary ropes. In spite of having built a reputation of being a strong finisher, Miller hasn’t lived up to his tag. He will have to play a Hardik-Pandya-like role for his side against the Mumbai Indians.

The Kings XI Punjab are one of the few IPL teams who have a specialist keeper. With Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps for KXIP, the team can be assured of some brilliant glove work on a consistent basis. Saha’s talent doesn’t end as a wicket-keeper. Although being a Test specialist, Saha is amazing in the shortest format of the game. His ability to swiftly switch gears allows him to play freely in testing conditions.

An underrated all-rounder, Axar Patel is, as Maxwell said, the superstar of the team. Be it with the bat, the ball, or on the field, Axar can deliver whenever his side needs him to. While at the crease, he hits the ball out of the park when it’s in his arc. His left-arm orthodox bowling attacks the stumps and results in crucial wickets for the team.

Bowlers (Mohit Sharma, Swapnil Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Ishant Sharma)

The Sharma trio has so far done a tidy job with the ball for the Kings XI Punjab. Together, the three pacers bring in the perfect variety that a bowling attack requires.

Mohit Sharma has clever changes in pace up his sleeve. The back of the hand delivery comes at the same arm speed, making it hard to pick at the death. Mohit is right on the money with his yorkers. Time and again, he has restricted batsmen at the death for the Chennai Super Kings and will look to put up a similar performance for KXIP.

Sandeep’s hallmark is his ability to swing the ball. He has developed great skill in being able to move the ball both ways, thus troubling top order batsmen early in the innings. Sandeep has consistently been among the wickets during his stint with the Kings XI Punjab.

Senior statesman Ishant Sharma brings in pace and bounce. He can bend his back and bowl the effort delivery like he does so often in Test matches. Ishant also targets the corridor of uncertainty, which keeps the keeper in business for a caught-behind.

The Kings XI Punjab have a decent left-arm spinner in Swapnil Singh. Swapnil has been plying his skills in the domestic circuit and has been quite impressive with his bowling. He provides breakthroughs with the ball and can also add useful runs down the order.

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