The Kings XI Punjab will face the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 23rd game of the IPL at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Punjab is currently at the bottom of the table with only one win from five games, whereas KKR has two from five, which means that if KKR win this, they will get into the top five of the table, while if Punjab win it, they will be joint last with at least 2 other sides! >
Punjab’s problem in the tournament so far has been the inability of their captain to be able to inspire his side. One has seen a much more chirpy Sangakkara in his avatar as an international captain, but for Punjab, he continues to struggle as the captain. This has led to a lot of morale issues one feels and there is a good chance that Sangakkara will look to take up the charge by getting into the thick of things.>
For starters, opening the innings was a good move by Sangakkara in the previous game, and he will look to continue doing that. But he will also need to probably give up on his gloves to Bisla and get into the ring where he can consistently have a word with his bowlers.
Yuvraj Singh’s form is a key and one hopes for the Pujab team’s sake that he performs much better than what he has so far.
For the Knight Riders, it is another issue with the captain, but it is more to do with Sourav Ganguly’s batting. Ganguly did bat for long time in the Mumbai game, but the problem was that he was too slow off the blocks. The same issue had occurred in their game against the Rajasthan Royals as well, and that is what is hurting the Knight Riders at the top.
Of course, the one other area they will look at changing is their bowling, and one gets the feeling that Charl Langeveldt will be crucial to their team’s fortunes. Shane Bond could be sitting out for this one!
Personally I think that despite both, Kolkata and Punjab going into the game at 1/1, with Extra Bet offering it to KKR and Victor Chandler to Punjab, the Knight Riders have a better balance in their side. My money, therefore, is on the KKR side.