About the Match
Kings 11 Punjab has everything to play for even after their loss in the last match as they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders, who looking to seal their place in the top-2. A playoff spot is within Punjab’s reach after many years and will provide enough incentive for the team to give it it’s all in this encounter.
Kings 11 Punjab
Hashim Amla has been a revelation for the Kings 11 this year, scoring 2 centuries in the competition. Unfortunately for them though, Amla and Miller have played their part in the competition and have now departed for international duty.
Replacing Amla at the top is not going to be easy but in Guptill, they have another player capable of scoring the big runs as well. It is also not just the overseas players that will have to lift their game if they are to get past Kolkata Knight Riders and stay alive in the competition.
Guptill, Marsh, and Maxwell provide a strong core to the batting with maybe Darren Sammy/Matt Henry getting a chance to fill the fourth overseas slot. The Indian players though have been largely disappointing apart from Axar Patel and Sandeep Sharma.
Manan Vohra has one good inning to his name and nothing else, Wriddhiman Saha has an average of 11.25 in 8 innings, while Mohit Sharma has been strangely predictable. All of these weak spots need to be addressed if Kings 11 is to try and make a three-match winning run and sneak into the playoffs.
We think the Punjab team will have to come out blazing and take the game to KKR, otherwise, they could be swept aside with ease.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR came into this competition with some major players missing but have not missed a beat and dominated this competition. Their flexible tactics and shrewd captaincy from Gautam Gambhir has made them the most dangerous team in this competition.
Even the loss Robin Uthappa and Coulter-Nile, among their best performers this season with the bat and ball respectively, has not slowed them down.
We are extremely excited to see if KKR continue to use Sunil Narine at the top of the order for the remaining part of the tournament because the general thought was that he was filling in for Chris Lynn. In the last game though, Gambhir himself dropped down the order and let Narine and Lynn create complete and utter carnage.
Chris Lynn is quite possible the most destructive batsman in the world right now and Narine was upstaging him with ease! The Kings 11 will no doubt put some plans in place for the two of them and possible attack Narine with some quick short pitched bowling first up.
Robin Uthappa and Coulter-Nile are not expected to be back for this match and this will even things out a bit. KKR could still be a little wobbly if they lose a couple of wickets early.
The bowling attack for KKR has also been very effective led by Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme and Sunil Narine in the last match.
KKR is the best-balanced team in this competition with players in form and some excellent bench strength to fall back on in case of injuries.
Head To Head
KKR dominates the head to head between the two teams 14-6. They also won the first game between the two sides this year with easy thanks to a Sunil Narine blitz at the top and a useful contribution by Gautam Gambhir. That game was the 8th
game they have won against the Kings 11 in succession.
This is a difficult match to call because the Kings 11 are in a situation where attack is their only option, something that could bring the best out of Marsh and Maxwell. KKR, on the other hand, is not likely to lose focus or intensity just because they have qualified for the knockouts.
We think the Kolkata Knight Riders will win this match and strengthen their bid for a top-2 slot.
Kolkata Knight Riders To Win.