Abu Dhabi: With five losses in six games in the season, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) are at the bottom of the IPL table and would be looking to bounce back when they face an in-form Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday (October 10) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
KXIP’s batsmen ruling the roost on the runs-chart this season so far, KL Rahul is currently the Orange Cap holder, Mayank Agarwal isn’t too far behind at no.3. Nicholas Pooran also showed his abilities with the willow by playing an extraordinary inning against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last game. The problem lies with the team’s bowling. The bowlers have been highly inconsistent and haven’t performed well as a squad.
Another problem that KXIP needs to rectify is the performance of Glenn Maxwell. The Australian all-rounder’s performance has been extremely poor and it’s hard to see him being part of the playing XI for too long.
On the other hand, Kolkata Knight Riders had a tactical victory against the Chennai Super Kings in their last match. Taking nothing away from Rahul Tripathi’s brilliant knock of 81, it was the bowling changes initiated by captain Dinesh Karthik that proved to be the difference in the end.
KKR’s decision to show confidence in domestic Indian players like Rahul Tripathi, CV Varun, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti is paying rich dividends. Sunil Narine and Andre Russell’s good bowling form is also a big plus for the team.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (C), Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, K Gowtham, J Suchith, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (C), Shivam Mavi, Tom Banton, Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, Manimaran Siddharth, Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Shubman Gill, Nitesh Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rinku Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Chris Green and Rahul Tripathi.