Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders are on equal terms with Kings XI Punjab in every edition as they share the honours. But changing fortune of KKR since last two editions and even their better performances in this edition as compared to the 2008 semifinalists Kings XI have made them the favorite to win. Unless Gilchrist manages to use his pace battery as effectively as Dravid did against KKR in current edition.
In every edition they have shared the honours, but with only one match to play in 2011, KKR has won a match more than Kings XI. While Kings XI started as a strong team with a semifinal entry an KKR as one of the biggest disappointments of IPL in first three editions, the change of reign to Gambhir has helped KKR emerge as one of the best teams in the last two edition, and to add to that they are the defending champion too. Contrary to that Kings XI is sliding downwards, unable to reach the knock out second time.
Head-to-Head: KKR 5, 4 Kings XI
KXIP def KKR by 9 Runs
KKR def KXIP by 3 Wickets
- KKR def KXIP by 11 Runs
KXIP def KKR by 6 Wickets
- KKR def KXIP by 39 Runs
KXIP def KKR by 8 Wickets
- KKR def KXIP by 8 wickets
Kings XI def KKR by 2 runs, MOM: Narine (KKR)
Result: KKR won by 8 wkts, MOM: Gambhir
Kings XI reached the semifinals once in inaugural edition and since then are going downwards, although in the last edition was better one for them with 8 wins tied with RCB and CSK for a place in Knock out.
KKR has a different story to tell. Being discarded as the burden of IPL in the first three editions, their fortunes changed dramatically after overhauling of team in 2009. They have reached two consecutive knockouts and are the defending champions now.
In 2008 KKR 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. In 2011, they won 8 and lost 7. In 2012 they won 12 and lost 5 only.
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. In 2011, they won 7 and lost 7. In 2012 they won 8 and lost 8 to finish 6th.
2013 Performances So far
Both started their campaign on a promising note. KKR played the inaugural match of the tournament and defeated DD, while Kings XI started their campaign by thumping Pune Warriors in away match.
KKR has 38 Wins, 38 Losses and 2 No Result. Kings XI has won 37 matches and lost 38 before this match. After that both lost two matches. KKR lost the away matches, first against RR, and then against RCB. Kings XI lost the home match against CSK and then the away match to RR. KKR returned to the winning ways by cleaning Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Who Will Win Today!!
KKR plays its 5th match while Kings XI play their 4th match. Mohali pitch may support the pacers and Kings XI has one of the best pace battery of the tournament in the form of Praveen KUmar, Harris, Azhar Mahmood and Awana. But KKR must be prepared to not loose the match to pacers, as they did against Dravid’s team. Against Sunrisers even Bisla and Kallis are back in form, while Morgan continued to be the backbone and Gambhir again played with responsibility. But all that was a spinner-friendly track. Can that conntinue even in Mohali?
There will be doubt unless KKR batsmen do something special to tackle pace, as their middle order batting with Tiwary, Pathan and others still requires much improvement.
Kings XI on the hand have their own batting woes, probably so far the worst batting unit of current IPL. None of their batsmen are even ready to stay on crease and David Hussey is unable to bat for 10 more teammates. They have already been bowled out by CSK and RR. They will not mind another bowl out if the batsmen could together score 180 or more runs that they need to challenge the defending champion.
Their bowling is better on pace-friendly pitch, but batting is letting them down and unless Gilly and Co find their form back, its all in favour of KKR .