IPL 2017, KXIP vs KKR: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) today's probable playing 11 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
KXIP face a must-win encounter against KKR in Mohali.
After finishing as the wooden spoon holders for two seasons in a row, the Kings XI Punjab have performed a lot better this season but find themselves in an extremely difficult position right now.
They lost an extremely tight encounter against the Gujarat Lions last time around and will now have to win their remaining three matches if they want to qualify for the playoffs.
However, Glenn Maxwell’s men will have their task cut out as they face a tough encounter against an in-form Kolkata Knight Riders at the PCA stadium in Mohali today.
Here is the predicted XI for the Kings XI:
Martin Guptill has featured in only 4 matches so far and has not looked too impressive. He has got off to a few good starts but was not able to convert them into big scores. With 3 must win games for KXIP and with Amla missing, Guptill will have to pull something out of the hat and give the KXIP fans something to cheer for.
Manan Vohra: Apart from his magnificent knock of 95, he has not been performing too well. He has scored only 109 runs if we do not count his 95 run knock. He will need to pull up his socks and get a big score on the board in order to help Punjab qualify for the playoffs.
Shaun Marsh has arguably been the best batsman ever for the Kings XI Punjab since the inception of the IPL. He was on the bench for the first few matches of the tournament – a move which backfired as neither Marcus Stoinis nor Eoin Morgan performed well. Marsh is the 2nd highest run-getter for KXIP this season and will look to continue his good run of form against KKR.
Glenn Maxwell started off the tournament with aplomb with a couple of blistering knocks. However, he has not looked in good touch ever since and has failed to perform with the bat. He will need to get back to his fearless best if he wants to take his side over the line.
Wriddhiman Saha’s disastrous IPL campaign continues as he has managed to score only 90 runs in 11 matches at an average of 11.25. He performed extremely well for India over the past 9 months but was unable to carry his form into the IPL. He will be hoping to get back to his run-scoring form and help his side
Darren Sammy will most likely get a look in, in the absence of Hashim Amla and Eoin Morgan. The charismatic all-rounder joined the franchise midway through the tournament and has not yet played a game. His hard hitting and his ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals
Axar Patel has been the standout performer for the Kings XI this season with the bat and the ball and is one of the players who is unlucky to miss out in India’s squad for the ICC Champions Trophy to be held in June. He will have to look past that and give the selectors something to think about by ending the season on a high.
Mohit Sharma career has gone downward since his inclusion in the 2015 World Cup squad held in Australia and New Zealand. He has had a decent tournament but has looked quite wary at the death as he has leaked a lot of runs. However, given the lack of bowling options, KXIP will continue to persist with him for the next few matches as well.
T Natarajan was one of the finds of the domestic season and thus found a buyer in this year’s IPL. He has performed decently with the ball but has not been able to pick up too many wickets. With only three matches to go, the Tamil Nadu youngster will look to make a bigger impact.
Sandeep Sharma is probably one of the most underrated bowlers to have played in the IPL. He has been a revelation for Punjab and has picked up important wickets at regular intervals and contained the opposition’s net run rate as well.
Varun Aaron’s over at the death was one of the main reason for KXIP’s loss against the Gujarat Lions. However, he has been quite impressive this season and has not conceded too many runs as many had predicted. He will look to continue his good run of form today as well.