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IPL 2017: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, 5 factors of winning

Here are the top 5 factors of winning that could play a role in the first game of the season in Kolkata.

Top 5 / Top 10 13 Apr 2017, 12:05 IST
Uthappa needs to step up in the absence of Lynn

The Eden Gardens, Kolkata will be the venue for the 11th game of the season between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. The KXIP side has made the perfect start to the campaign having won both their initial games whereas KKR won emphatically in their first game against Gujarat Lions but went down in a close encounter against Mumbai Indians.

KXIP had finished at the bottom of the points table in the previous two seasons but it’s been a wonderful turnaround for them so far as both their bowlers and batsmen have fired. They look rejuvenated under the leadership of their new captain Glenn Maxwell and have proved to be a force to reckon with.

On the other hand, the two-time champions KKR chased down the total of 184 against GL in just 14.5 overs having all 10 wickets in the bag. They were in a winning position against MI too but some lousy fielding at the end threw away the advantage.

It promises to be an intriguing contest as two well-balanced sides go head to head. Here is a look at the 5 winning factors for the teams.

#1 With the bat

KKR suffered a huge loss after Chris Lynn succumbed to a shoulder injury while attempting to take an overhead catch in their last game against MI. He was able to carry forward his form from the Big Bash into the IPL, but sadly went down whilst wearing the orange cap on his head.

In his absence, one would expect Kolkata to go back to their previous opening combination of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa. The skipper has shown good form having scored 95 runs in 2 innings. Uthappa, however, has failed to contribute so far and now the onus would be on him to fill in for Lynn. Uthappa has been a different class in the IPL since joining Kolkata and would like to get this season going as soon as possible.

Manish Pandey played a terrific knock of 81 against MI and Kolkata will be looking towards him to deliver again.

The focus would be on Yusuf Pathan to provide the impetus and in the absence of Andre Russell in the middle order. He needs to account for the added responsibility to finish the innings on a high.

KXIP’s batting has clicked in both the games so far as well with opener Hashim Amla doing a great job. The South African scored a match-winning 58 against RCB in the last game and his decent run of form has kept the experienced Shaun Marsh out of the playing XI.

The other opener Manan Vohra has shown promise in two games but has failed to capitalise on good starts. And now he needs to convert that to a big score to aid the middle-order. Axar Patel was promoted to bat at number four to play the role of a pinch hitter in the both their previous games but the move hasn’t worked.

Their biggest positive so far has been the form of Maxwell who has batted at a strike rate of 207.14 and remained unbeaten so far. His partner in crime David Miller also played a decent innings against RPS. And if Punjab are to stay in the top four, the duo needs to keep firing throughout the season.

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