Match 37 Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab come after a long break to play their 6th match only, while When Kolkata Knight Riders will play their 8th match. KKR has the chance to top the group by winning, while Kings XI can jump one place to reach 6th position.

History
They have shared the honours with 3 victories each in last 6 matches between them. In every edition they have won one match each.

2011 Performances
The Knights lost the first match again Chennai Super Kings, which they should have won, while won the close match against Deccan Chargers at home. Playing back-to-back matches against Rajasthan Royals, they first won the away match chasing a record total, and then ridiculed the Royals batsmen in the Home game. But, against Kochi Tuskers their batsmen could not even chase a target of 132. In the last match, ex-Kinght Gayle-force marooned KKR with a century. In Kotla, Gambhir’s bowlers managed to defeat Delhi Daredevils in low scoring match.

Kings XI, initially appearing the weakest team, shot into prominence with big wins. They first surprised 2010 champtions Chennai Super Kings at home, and then defeated 2009 champions Deccan Chargers. They earlier lost to Pune Warriors. Continuing their inspirational form, Kings XI humiliated Royals. The last match saw their unsuccessful chase in the high-scoring match against Delhi Daredevils.

Player’s Performance in 2011
KKR Player’s performance index shows comparatively better batting performance as they have 3 batsmen scoring above 100 runs, and Yusuf set to enter the 100-club. KKR’s bowling unit has been more effective taking 38 wickets in 7 matches, barring the slaughter by Gayle.

Kings XI player performance index indicates how dependent they are on Valthaty. He is no more the current Orange Cap holder, Marsh and Gilchrist have also entered 100-run club. Overall their bowling has improved taking 25 wickets in 5 matches.

Head-to-Head: KKR 3, Kings XI 3
2008

    KXIP def KKR by 9 Runs
    KKR def KXIP by 3 Wickets

2009

    KKR def KXIP by 11 Runs
    KXIP def KKR by 6 Wickets

2010

    KKR def KXIP by 39 Runs
    KXIP def KKR by 8 Wickets

IPL Performances
KKR has never reached the knockout. In 2008 they had 6 Win, 7 Losses, 1 No Result against DD. In 2009 they Won 3, Lost 10 and again had 1 No Result. In 2010 they had the best performance with 7 Wins and 7 Losses.

Kings XI has reached 2008 semifinals. They won 10 matches and lost 5. In 2009, Kings XI could not reach the semifinal and had even results, winning 7 and losing 7. 2010 saw their worst performance when they won 4 and lost 10.

Overall Performance
KKR has one of the worst record of last 3-editions with 16 Wins, 24 Losses and 2 No Result. Kings XI has won 21 matches and lost 22 in last 3 editions.

Who Will Win Today!!
Being placed in separate groups, both will play only one match against each other at group stage. Their batting is equally dangerous succeeding so far. But the bowling finds KKR have an edge. Overall the combination of Kallis, Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan and Shakib/Doeschate can give Kings XI bowlers nightmare. On the other hand Valthaty, looking to regain the Orange cap, is the most dangerous batsmen of IPL at present. Supported with Marsh, Gilchrist and Hussey Kings XI becomes the batting side to watch. But KKR would feel they have the bowling attack to nullify them. KKR should win the match and make fans at Eden happier.

Key Battles
Valthaty/Marsh vs Lee and Pathan
The contest will be the key to the match. Success of duo of either side will decide the match winner. Lee has not taken much wickets but has performed well to put opposition under pressure. Pathan is one of the most successful bowler. On the other hand Valthaty can continue his damaging innings and with Marsh can skittle any opposition.

Kallis/Gambhir vs Praveen and Co
The duo of KKR has given some match winning performances, but after thay they have failed to provide much support to their team’s batting. But they can come to form any time and probably today their team needs a lot. Praveen also has memorable start to the tournament but has faded later. Kings XI bowlers need the two big wickets to controll the match.

Kolkata Knight Riders Squad
Batsman: Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Brad Haddin (WK), Eoin Morgan, Manvinder Bisla, Shreevats Goswami, Laxmi Shukla, Manoj Tiwary,
Allrounder: Jacques Kallis, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan,
Bowlers: Brett Lee, James Pattinson, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaidev Unadkat, Shami Ahmed, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Rajat Bhatia, Sarabjit Ladda, Iqbal Abdulla

Kings XI Squad
Batsman: Adam Gilchrist (Captain/Keeper), Shaun Marsh, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Vikramjeet Malik, Nitin Saini
Allrounders: David Hussey, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Mandeep Singh
Bowlers: Stuart Broad, Ryan Harris, Ryan McLaren, Nathan Rimmington, Love Ablish, Praveen Kumar, Amit Yadav, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Siddharth Chitnis, Paras Dogra, Shalabh Srivastava, Sunny Singh, Paul Valthaty

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