KXIP vs RCB: 3 areas KXIP need to work on to get back to winning ways
KXIP's campaign has derailed where they would need to win at least two out of their remaining games to make it to the playoffs. Although they are third on the points table, one slip tonight would make it hard for them to make it to the playoffs as there is too much competition and very little breathing space in the points table as it stands currently.
It’s been a whirlwind season for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). They started off with five wins out of their first seven games. They then had a break of a week, which hasn’t helped them. They have lost three out of their last four games, leaving them in a slightly tricky position as far their position in the playoffs are concerned.
The points table looks really cramped with three teams, KXIP, RR and KKR, on 12 points. KXIP are on third spot due to superior NRR compared to KKR and RR, and also the fact that they have one more game at hand.
But they haven’t helped themselves. The franchise looked a settled unit and everyone felt, along with SRH and CSK, KXIP would sail into the playoffs. But a lot of cracks have developed in their game off late which needs immediate addressing, before it gets too late.
Here’s looking at 3 areas KXIP need to work on to get back to winning ways:
#1 They must stop being too dependent on KL Rahul and Chris Gayle
Without a doubt, the best looking opening partnership in IPL 2018. When the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle and KL Rahul get going in their own distinct, unique styles, there is really no stopping them. But let’s face it, it’s been only them and no one else for KXIP so far.
The middle-order boasts of some fine talent in the form of Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary and Axar Patel. Out of all the mentioned names, only Karun Nair has been fairly consistent in his performances, scoring 246 runs in 11 games.
KL Rahul has 537 runs in 11 games and looks unstoppable, and then you have Karun Nair who is the only batsmen to aggregate more than 200 runs this season. This gap is what has affected KXIP’s game in their last four games in particular and they must find ways to address this issue.
Mayank Aggarwal has been a disappointment, Yuvraj Singh doesn’t seem to have it in him, and they need someone who can contribute with the bat apart from the openers and Karun Nair.
They have tried Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis in the middle-order and both have offered nothing much. It makes complete sense, on a batting friendly pitch at Indore to draft in David Miller instead of Aaron Finch or Marcus Stoinis. KXIP could sandwich him in between Karun Nair and Mayank Aggarwal in the batting order.
David Miller hasn’t had a long run in this season. The franchise saw something to retain him in the player's auction. The time is right to unleash David Miler on the RCB bowling line-up who can be all over the place.
Miller has had a lean run in the last IPL, but the infusion of someone raring to go, who has been on the sidelines for the last 6-7 games is maybe what KXIP require to put up a better team performance with the bat.
As it’s clear that if they depend too much on KL Rahul and Chris Gayle and if they fail, which is a possibility, then they will be left reeling as their middle order hasn’t oozed too much confidence thus far.