Home > Features >

IPL 7: Kings XI Punjab’s overdependance on Glenn Maxwell and inconsistent bowling can hurt their chances

Kings XI Punjab bowling has been inconsistent. Twice they reduced the opposition to below par score, but they have also been hammered by the opposition in other matches © IANS
Kings XI Punjab bowling has been inconsistent. Twice they reduced the opposition to below par score, but they have also been hammered by the opposition in other matches © IANS

Kings XI Punjab stumbled to their first defeat in the Indian premier League (IPL) 2014. R Vishal feels, it’s too early to panic but Punjab do have some loose ends to tie.

After a rollicking start to the Indian Premier League (IPL), coasting to five consecutive wins, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were brought back to earth by Mumbai Indians (MI) inflicting their first loss of the tournament. While there is no cause for alarming scrutinising at the moment, Punjab need to aim for a greater balance to ensure that they combat the challenges they will face in conditions that are merciless for bowlers.

For the third time in the tournament a team sailed past 150 against Punjab — the other victories ironically involved the bowlers coming together and restricting the opposition to an under par score. All eyes were on Mitchell Johnson after becoming the toast of the cricketing world since the turn of the year. While the Australian’s thunderbolts have had batsmen taking rearguard action from time to time, Johnson doesn’t look the same prospect while bowling on wickets that offers little purchase. Being asked to bowl the crucial 19th over of the game against Mumbai, Johnson’s half-volleys were creamed to the stands by Kieron Pollard and thereby lost them the match.

Johnson’s blow hot-blow cold form in the IPL so far has been masked by the batsmen — Glenn Maxwell in particular and the Indian contingent’s steady displays. Swing bowler Sandeep Sharma has been a revelation while Akshar Patel, Lakshmipathy Balaji and Rishi Dhawan have all chipped in and been amongst the wickets. While Akshar is a rank newcomer, Dhawan is at best a useful support bowler. Balaji has impressed in patches in all the three franchises that he has played so far and supports a main strike bowler well. Balaji’s medium-pacers are going to be ineffective on flatter wickets and might me targeted by the batsmen for runs. Throughout the Ashes and the 2-1 series win in South Africa, Australia’s bowling attack steamed in with Johnson as the lynchpin. The Johnson of old lacked the confidence and personality to lead an attack, the new and improved alter ego, sporting a handlebar moustache has bulldozed his way into batting line-ups. Out of the six games so far, it’s the erratic and unpredictable Johnson that has been on display.

The opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara have failed to make an impression so far.  While Sehwag is still on a pursuit to recreate his famed hand-eye coordination that blunted attacks not so long ago, India’s Test specialist Pujara has looked ill at ease in this format. Apart from his scintillating unbeaten 51 that came off 19 balls against Rajasthan Royals, David Miller’s finishing needs greater consistency. Skipper George Bailey has come a cropper in all the games and desperately needs an innings of note. Bailey and Miller are undoubtedly match-winners who can take the game away in a matter of few balls.

It could also do with the fact that Maxwell has been there to blow teams out of water on three consecutive occasions. The most successful teams in the IPL, like Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians or to a lesser degree Rajasthan Royals have been a lot more than just a few individuals. Maxwell will be an asset in any team in Twenty20 (T20s) but for Punjab to go far or win the tournament, which they so crave, the local and the international stars have to aim for a cohesive display.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan proud at scoring record 25th Test ton

West Indies cancel tour to India: ICC says it does not have power to intervene

Aditya Garhwal slams 196 in 50-over match for Rajasthan under-19 XI

Loughborough becomes latest ICC-accredited testing centre

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s ton takes Pakistan to 219/4 on Day 1

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Younis Khan becomes 12th batsman with a ton against each of the Test-playing nations

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Revealed: Aamir Khan’s alien avatar in PK- View pic!

Latest Moto 360 software update brings battery saving feature and mood lighting

Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone at the Dubai press conference for Happy New Year-view pic!

Kill Dil song G Phaad Ke: Govinda steals Saif Ali Khan’s thunder

इबोला से संक्रमित अमेरिकी फोटोग्राफर विषाणु मुक्त घोषित

इबोला : अंतर्राष्ट्रीय लड़ाई में क्यूबा का साथ देगा अमेरिका

Novak Djokovic names new-born son Stefan

Lenovo RocStar music-focused Android KitKat smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus audio launched in India, priced at Rs 6,499

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here