Kings XI Punjab face-off against Kolkata Knight Riders in match 24 of IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, October 10. KKR are in the top four of the points table at the moment, while KXIP are languishing at the bottom. Both teams come into this match with contrasting results in their previous encounters.
While Punjab lost against Hyderabad, KKR beat a much-fancied CSK who had a 110-wicket win over KXIP in their previous game. It will be a double-header day with this match starting at 3.30 pm IST. Its a first afternoon game for both teams in the season. RCB and CSK will face off in Dubai from 7.30 pm IST.
KKR are fresh off their victory against Chennai Super Kings at this very venue. They have won two out of the three games they have played so far here. KKR beat CSK after they were on the back foot for almost 30 overs in the game. A phase of 10 good overs and some intelligent captaincy from Dinesh Karthik, saw them beat CSK in a rather surprising turn of events. Their bowling group had a better outing in the game than their batters.
Meanwhile, the tactical changes worked in favour of KKR as Sunil Narine was held back for the back end of the chase against CSK. This masterstroke by Karthik became the talking point after the end of the game.
While their bowlers clicked, their batsmen had a below-par game except for Rahul Tripathi. He scored a 51-ball 81 scoring half of KKR’s runs in that game. Shubman Gill, who had a good start to the tournament, tapered off in the last games. After scores of 70, 47 and 28, he scored just 11 against CSK. Given that KKR’s middle-order has not fired in unison so far, they are reliant on Gill to have consistency at the top.
KKR’s Middle-Order Conundrum
Dinesh Karthik batted at number seven against CSK scoring 12 of 10 balls. Andre Russell has looked off-colour so far in the tournament with Eoin Morgan failing against CSK after a couple of good innings. With the Punjab bowling attack under the pump, the KKR middle-order will fancy coming back into form.
Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, have lost their last four games and are at the bottom of the points table. With their middle-order failing repeatedly to produce the goods, the team is heavily dependent on KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal to give regular starts. However, that formulae have not quite worked out so far for the Kings.
There are also talks of Chris Gayle being brought in the playing XI. He was all set to play against SRH but couldn’t due to food poisoning. Against KKR, he will find a place in the XI with Glenn Maxwell making way.
Kings XI Punjab- Death Bowling Concerns
Death bowling has been another point of concern for the Kings. Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Jordan, have all gone for runs in the final overs. Against SRH it was the spin of Ravi Bishnoi and the medium pace of Arshdeep Singh that put the brakes on the scoring. They would like to stick to the ploy possibly against KKR as well.
Head to Head: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders
In 25 games played between the two teams, KKR have won 17, while Punjab eight. In the last five meetings between the two teams, KKR won three, while Punjab two.
Pitch & Weather Conditions
The weather will hover around 38 to 40 degrees., Abu Dhabi is the biggest of the three grounds in the UAE. Kolkata batted first in the last game and defended their target to win the game. Captain winning the toss will surely look to bat first at this venue with the trend of chasing slowly taking a backseat in the tournament.
Chris Gayle is almost a guaranteed selection for Punjab against Kolkata. It will be interesting to see if Cottrell is replaced with Jordan due to his death bowling skills. The rest of the squad is expected to be same.KKR after their win against CSK will field an unchanged side with Karthik possibly applying the same tactics.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik (c/wk), 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 (c/wk), 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