Kings Eleven Punjab (KXIP) will lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 24 of the Indian Premier League Season 13 (IPL 2020) later on Saturday afternoon at the Shiekh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates).
The KXIP vs KKR game which will be the first match of the ‘Super Saturday’ week-end double header is scheduled for a 3:00 pm (IST) start with the toss slated to be held at 2:30 pm (IST)
Kings Eleven Punjab who languish at the bottom of the table with just a solitary win to show, will desperately look to register a win against Karthik and Co., who are in a much more comfortable position in the points table with six points in five games.
Punjab will need to step up their game in all facets and hope for an all-round performance by their Playing XI, which until know has not been the case.
Over dependence on their openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal has hurt the ‘Kings’ badly during the first half of the tournament. KXIP’s bowling fortunes have also hovered largely around their frontline seamer Mohammad Shami as the other bowlers in Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin have failed to make any sort of impact.
The two positives for KXIP in their defeat against SRH was the whirlwind cameo by their explosive Windies power hitter Nicholas Pooran and the economical spell by young medium pacer Arshdeep Singh.
ALSO READ | IPL 2020 Points Table: DC Dethrone MI As Numero Uno Team After Massive 46-Run Win Over RR
Glen Maxwell’s silent run with the willow is also a worrying factor for KXIP. The think tank might contemplate playing Windies Chris Gayle in place of the out of form Glen Maxwell.
KKR on the other hand come into the game against KXIP after registering a 10-run win over CSK. It was a stellar effort by their bowling unit to a defend 168-run target against 3-time champs CSK.
KKR too need to find some semblance with their batting order which seems to be more dynamic than static. While the promotion of Rahul Tripathi up the order as an opener in place of Sunil Narine worked wonders against CSK, the dismal form of skipper Dinesh Karthik has been a persistent.
The Knights have produced bits of magic with the dangerous Eoin Morgan and Nitish Rana producing some scintillating knocks but their clinical finisher Andre Russell is yet to produce those whirlwind cameos down the order.
KKR seam bowling unit definitely seem to looks more potent and has the edge over a rather inconsistent KXIP fast bowling attack.
Australian seamer Pat Cummins who spearheads the KKR has been expensive a couple of times but as long as he picks wickets with the new ball, Knight Riders won’t mind. Meanwhile both youngster Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkotti have been quite steady hitting some good lengths consistently.
Spinners from both teams will have a role to play at the massive ground at Abu Dhabi, which unlike Sharjah and Dubai is not that easy to clear. It will be interesting to see who wins the battle of the tweakers as both teams have a decent spin arsenal. While, KKR have their experienced campaigner Sunil Narine and the mystery spinner Varun Chakravorty; KXIP might see one of Mujeeb or M Ashwin partnering the young leggie Ravi Bishnoi.
Here are the complete squads for both Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings Eleven Punjab in IPL 2020:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (Captain), Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill, Tom Banton, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Rinku Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Nikhil Naik, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy and Siddhesh Lad
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (Captain), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Shami, Mujeeb Zadran, Sheldon Cottrell, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sarfraz Khan, K Gowtham, J Suchith, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhsimran Singh, Murugan Ashwin