Kings XI Punjab turn their attention to the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi next as they gear up for their first afternoon game of the 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League, where they will take on Kolkata Knight Riders. For KXIP, this game would be practically a must-win game, as a win in this game would help lift them from the bottom of the table and help build momentum to string a few results together, reviving their chances of making it to the semi finals.
Kings XI Punjab
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders have the upper hand in the head-to-head record, but it was Kings XI Punjab who emerged victorious in the only meeting between the two sides in UAE back in 2014. KXIP have been searching for form so far in the tournament, but like their batting coach Wasim Jaffer said, they’d hope that a good game is just around the corner.
Batting de Baadshah
KL Rahul continues to hold on to that Orange Cap after six games, with 313 runs so far in the competition. The KXIP skipper has two fifties and one hundred to his name so far, with one of the fifties coming at the Sharjah Stadium. Heading into Saturday, Kings XI fans would be hopeful for their captain to fire again against KKR.
For KKR, youngster Shubman Gill has been the leading run scorer so far in IPL 2020 with 163 runs. The youngster has been a new role this season, tasked with opening the batting for the franchise. He scored an unbeaten 70 against Sunrisers Hyderabad not so long ago, and Kolkata fans would be keen to see their young star get another big score.
Bowling de Kings
Mohammed Shami has proved to be an economical option for KXIP in the powerplay overs, causing all sorts of problems to batsmen with his pace and swing. The seamer has picked up nine scalps so far in the competition, and with youngsters like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh also coming to the fore, Kings XI would be a lot more optimistic about their bowling heading into Saturday.
For Kolkata Knight Riders, it has been mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy who has the most wickets in IPL 2020. With his many variations and tricks, he has caused a lot of trouble for opposition batsmen in the middle overs. However, playing at a new venue, it would be interesting to see how Chakravarthy copes against the hard hitting batsmen of Punjab.
Mudde di Baat
KXIP and KKR find themselves at contrasting ends of the league table with the team from Kolkata towards the top while Anil Kumble’s side are currently rock bottom. A win however could lift KXIP from the bottom and with the second half of the league stages still completely left to play, this would be a good time for the 2014 finalists to get a few wins under the table and build some momentum.
- Ravi Bishnoi averages 16 with the ball against left-handers for IPL 2020.
- Chris Gayle averages 46.36 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
- Mohammed Shami is just one wicket away from getting 50 wickets in the IPL .
Kl Rahul (c), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Porel, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh.
At the top of the order, Chris Gayle could be given a chance given his record against KKR. In the middle order, all-rounders Deepak Hooda could come into the side to sure up the batting. On the bowling front, KXIP would continue favouring young Indian bowlers after the last game, giving a chance to Ishan Porel with Sheldon Cottrell dropping out.
NOTE: The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.