It is an irony of sorts when Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab meet in their final match of IPL 4. Kings XI is on a winning streak and need one more win to match the 5-win streak of DC win in 2010 achieved to enter Knockout from nowhere. Ironically, ex-DC captain Gilchrist is the pioneer of 4-match must win streak for Kings XI. Eyeing the Points Table Kings XI can not relax unless they not only win, but win with a margin that can place them above KKR. DC on the other hand is playing for pride.
Both have played 6 matches together. Irony is that when Kings XI reached semifinal, Chargers played their worst tournament. When Chargers peaked and reched consecutive knockouts, Kings XI were going down. In 2011, Kings XI again had the upper hand in first match against DC. Overall with 5 wins in 7 clashes, Kings XI holds edge. But, with entire team and captain changed, can they maintain the winning edge over DC, who are playing under a new captain, Cameron White, whose place was not even guaranteed in playing XI till last match. !!
Chargers were thrashed by their erstwhile opponent Rajasthan Royals in the first match. Kolkata Knight Riders also defeated them in a close contest. But, playing at home they registered first ever victory trouncing Royal Challengers Bangalore. But, Kings XI Punjab shattered the dream of getting away with home jinx for Chargers when ex-DC captain and biggest assaulter of the tournament Valthaty marooned DC with runs. In their last match, they defeated Daredevils easily. Expected to spoil Sachin’s birthday, Deccan Chargers succumbed to a shameful defeat against Mumbai Indians in their last match. Against Kochi in last match, one of the best IPL bowling performances by Ishant saw DC easily win in the low scoring match. In the last match they gifted the match to Chennai Super Kings, and strengthened the belief that DC is headed towards bottom. Against KKR, they failed to chase again, while Viru’s DD showed them how to make successful chase. In the last two matches, first they shocked Mumbai Indians and then avenged defeat against Pune Warriors.
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 match against Delhi Daredevils saw their unsuccessful chase in the high-scoring match. In the last match at Eden KKR handed them heavy defeat. They faced crushing defeat against MI, while in Bangalore Gayle’s record century and all-round performance knocked them out of Chinnaswamy. Pune Warriors thumped them in same fashion again. They scored crushing win over then group topper Mumbai Indians bundling them for one of the lowest IPL score, and made Munaf Patel the only bowler to have registered one of the best bowling performance in the lost cause. After defeating Kochi Tuskers again and avenging defeat against Delhi Daredevils, and then after trouncing RCB, Kings XI are on a 4-match winning streak.
For Deccan, player’s performance index shows Sangakkara and bowlers shining. Sangakkara has signed off with 358 runs. Dhawan also entered 300-club, while Chipli and Sohal are in 200-club, followed by Duminy, Chrisitan and Ravi Teja in the 100-run club whereas White needs another 11 runs to join the 100 gang. They have 7 players in 100-plus club, the maximum for any team, still, DC batsmen have not showed the capability to reach 150-mark smoothly so often. Bowlers have performed better taking 71 wickets in 13 matches. Captaincy is their key problem. Sangakkara has failed to form the team bond. And now they have a captain whose place was also not guaranteed in playing XI for many matches.
Kings XI player performance index indicates how dependent they are on top four batsman. Marsh and Valthaty are the top 2 leading scorers of the tournament. Gilchrist with his century has crossed 300-mark and Karthik is close to touching 300. Marsh has the Orange Cap.. But no 5th batsman approaching 100 is a sign of worry for them. Overall their bowling has improved taking 75 wickets in 13 matches.
KXIP def DC by 4 Wickets
KXIP def DC by 6 Runs
KXIP def DC by 3 Wickets
KXIP def DC by 1 Run
DC def KXIP by 6 Runs
DC def KXIP by 5 Wickets
KXIP def DC by 8 wickets
Kings XI had a dream run with 10 wins and 5 losses, reaching the semifinal. The strongest team of IPL, DC finished at the bottom with 2 wins and 12 losses.
Kings XI just missed the knockout race by winning and losing equal number of matches, 7 each. Captaincy changed and DC went on to win the cup with 9 wins and 7 losses in South Africa.
Various issues rocked the team. Yuvraj Singh, Owner’s problem and change of captaincy devastated Kings XI and they finished close to bottom with just 4 wins and 10 losses.
DC reached the semifinal again and finished 4th with 8 win and equal number of losses.
Kings XI has one of the best performances in IPL winning 21 and losing 22 matches.
DC has the worst record of IPL with 19 wins and 27 losses.
Who Will Win Today!!
The last match saw Valthaty destroying DC with ball at Hyderabad and Kings XI winning without much fuss. Now DC is on a 2-match winning streak, while Kings XI have 4-match winning streak, that can turn meaningless if they can not add 5th and final win. Kings XI are looking for another big win that can take them above KKR in points tally and ensure Knockout place. DC on the other hand, despite 2 wins are in all sorts of mess. Except Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha, and to some extent Duminy they have no player to feel confident of. Kings XI have edge at Dharamsala but DC looked charged up at Away matches.
Steyn vs Valthaty/Marsh/Gilchrist
The pacer has rocken many and nobody will be surprised if he repeats the feat. Valthaty on the other hand would like to prove that his century was not just a one-match wonder. Gilchrist must have his own agenda against Deccan Chargers, whom he captained and was not retained.
Praveen Kumar vs DC openers
Praveen Kumar has been the talk of the IPL with his two amazing starts in two matches. In firts match he took first ball wicket. In Second match he doubled it with two first two ball wicket. What is in store now!! A first three ball hattrick!! DC openers will be vary of that. Yet, they will be more confident after their show against RCB.
Kings XI Punjab Squads
Batsman: Adam Gilchrist (Captain/Keeper), Shaun Marsh, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Vikramjeet Malik, Nitin Saini
Allrounders: David Hussey, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Mandeep Singh, Paul Valthaty
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
Deccan Chargers SquadBatsman: Kumar Sangakkara, Jean-Paul Duminy, Michael Lumb, Kevin Pietersen, Anand Rajan, Kedar Devdhar, Shikhar Dhawan, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Jaydev Shah, Arjun Yadav
Allrounder: Cameron White (Captain), Chris Lynn, Rusty Theron, Ashish Reddy
Bowlers: Dale Steyn, Daniel Christian, Ankit Sharma, Akash Bhandari, Bharat Chipli, Manpreet Gony, Harmeet Singh, Ishank Jaggi, Ishan Malhotra, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Sunny Sohal