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IPL 2017 Player Battles: Top 4 Player Encounters in KKR v Kings XI Punjab Match

KKR won both games last IPL but KXIP on current form look good enough to go the distance!

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir in action during IPL T-20 match between KKR and DD at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 3, 2013. (Photo: IANS)
After the loss of Lynn, Gambhir’s form at the top is crucial for KKR

The Kings XI Punjab this year have started the IPL on fire, under a new skipper, Glenn Maxwell. Kolkata Knight Riders made short work of a stiff target set by Gujarat Lions thanks to a breathtaking blitzkrieg by Chris Lynn, who unfortunately, hurt his shoulder in the second game.

That probably rules him out of this fixture for sure, debilitating KKR a great deal. Nevertheless, they are a quality side and would surely find more heroes. While KXIP has won both its games in style, defeating RCB convincingly in their last match, KKR have won a game scintillatingly, then lost the player who made that win possible in Chris Lynn, and then lost a game from the jaws of victory against Mumbai Indians.

Extra Cover: IPL 2017 KKR vs KXIP: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Today's Probable playing 11 against Kings XI Punjab

The momentum is with KXIP but it is KKR’s home ground and they are known for their resilience.

Here, we take a look at the top four player battles that can be expected from this game!


#1 Gautam Gambhir (KKR) v Sandeep Sharma (KXIP)

Kings XI Punjab’s underrated fast bowler, Sandeep Sharma, can swing the ball both ways at a lively pace. He was impressive with the new ball against RCB, with numbers of 1-26 in four overs. He managed figures of 2-33 in his 4 overs against Pune in a winning cause.

KXIP are heavily reliant on their Indian bowlers and Sandeep Sharma is definitely carrying a ton of that responsibility. Sharma was 0-25 in his 4 overs in the last encounter between the two teams and he would take those numbers with both hands.

Extra Cover: KKR vs KXIP Match Prediction: Who will win the match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2017, Match 11

Gambhir was sensational in the first match against Gujarat Lions with a 68-ball 76, unbeaten against a mediocre bowling line-up.  He fell cheaply in the match against Mumbai Indians but is one of the top players when it comes to notching up half-centuries in the IPL if they don’t get him early.

His open stance has helped him be more attacking but he is also more vulnerable to the fast in-swingers that Sandeep can generate. I would certainly back Sandeep to get the better of Gambhir in this game.

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