IPL 10, Match 47, KXIP v GL Preview: Kings XI Punjab aim to steam roll low ranked Lions
The last time these two sides met in the tournament, KXIP had won the game by 26 runs.
Updated - May 7, 2017 7:41 pm
The Kings XI Punjab have been in a rollicking form in the last week or so. From a point of being on the verge of being ousted from the tournament, they now find themselves in the race for the playoffs. If they manage to win all their remaining matches in the season, they might well finish at the top of the points table. Being in the top two will guarantee them two shots at the finals.
However, that is a far cry at the moment. They have to overhaul 4 teams in their way to ensure they move from 10 points to 18 points in the points table. The first among the 4 hurdles is the Gujarat Lions. The Lions are already out of the contention for the playoffs and are an injury-plagued unit at the moment. Kings would definitely fancy their chances against the Lions in this scenario.
The last time these two sides at met at Rajkot, it was the KXIP side that had managed to win the match by 26 runs. This time around, they will be playing against the same opposition at their home venue at Mohali. The venue at Mohali has been a happy hunting ground for them over the years in the tournament.
Toss: Gujarat Lions won the toss and opted to field
Kings XI Punjab: Hashim Amla, Martin Guptill, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell(c), Wriddhiman Saha(w), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan
Gujarat Lions: Dwayne Smith, Ishan Kishan, Suresh Raina(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Aaron Finch, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pradeep Sangwan, Basil Thampi, Ankit Soni
Quotes from the toss:
Glenn Maxwell: We don’t mind batting first. It is a big game, coming of us two wins and will be nice to make it three. We have got one change: Gurukeerat Mann comes in for Vohra.
Suresh Raina: We are going to bowl first. The wicket looks good and might do something with the new ball. Our strength is our batting and we will stick to chasing. We have not had a good season.
Focus will be on
The Kings XI Punjab have found a very settled opening pair in Hashim Amla and Martin Guptill. The two players have been giving decent starts to the KXIP line-up ever since they have joined hands in the top order. Guptill started off the season for him with a decent start to his name. In his very next game in the Kings outfit, he smashed an unbeaten fifty that helped the Kings thrash the Delhi Daredevils by 10 wickets.
The star Indian all-rounder walked into the tournament riding on some superlative form in the domestic season. However, he has failed to translate his good form of the longer format in the shorter formats. Jadeja has failed to deliver either with the bat or with the ball. In the previous game, he showed a brief of what he is capable of doing. He hit two sixes to show that he is capable of using the long handle. With the ball, he needs to contain the runs as well.
The KXIP skipper Glenn Maxwell had started off a very good note this season with two unbeaten scores to his name in the first couple of matches. However, he has failed to continue on the same note since then. His weaknesses against the spin bowlers, leg spinners, in particular, has been evident for the oppositions to exploit. In the previous game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, he had lost his wicket to Yuzvendra Chahal. The Lions have a very good leggie in Ankit Soni in their lineup and hence, it will not be easy going for Maxwell.
Kings XI Punjab
The KXIP have been riding high in the last couple of matches. Against the Daredevils, they had a complete performance on display. In the game against RCB, the batting failed but the bowling rose to the occasion. It is unlikely that they will tinker with their winning combinations in this match as well. Guptill and Amla are firm openers with Vohra and Shaun Marsh clicking well in the middle overs.
Glenn Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha have been short of runs in the middle order and need to step up to the occasion. Axar Patel has been reveling in the role of the all-rounder for the camp. In the bowling lineup, they are being led by Sandeep Sharma in top form. He has bagged two Player of the Match awards in succession. He is being well supported by T Natarajan, Mohit Sharma, and Varun Aaron.
The Gujarat Lions received a major blow prior to their match against Kings. Their star batsman Brendon McCullum has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to a hamstring injury. In his place, the Lions will find it tough to get a replacement for him. They are already short on foreign players with Dwayne Bravo and Andrew Tye being ruled out earlier. Also, Jason Roy has flown back to England.
UAE batsman Chirag Suri is likely to make his IPL debut at his place. Unless the team decides to go with an extra bowler, Chirag has a very good chance of making it to the big stage. In the bowling department, Pradeep Sangwan and Basil Thampi have been impressive thus far. Ankit Soni has been excellent with the ball in the limited opportunities that he has got.
3 – Number of times both teams have faced each other. KXIP have won on two occasions and Lions have won it once.
52 – Batting average of Hashim Amla this season – the second highest in IPL 10 after Manish Pandey (56).
4400 – Suresh Raina became the first batsman to reach 4400 runs in IPL history.