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)

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Virat Kohli’s opportunity to find form

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Key highlights from Test series

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Moeen Ali wears ‘Save Gaza’ band: Instances where cricketers made political statements on the field

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler’s blitz, Ian Bell’s century and other highlights from Day 2

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Watch Free Live Streaming Online: England vs India, 3rd Test Day 3 at Southampton

Jonathan Trott returning to England setup not an immediate priority, says Dougie Brown

Pakistan cricket affected by legal tussle for PCB chairmanship: Supreme Court

Live Scorecard: India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 3 at Southampton

Live Cricket Score: England vs India 3rd Test, Day 3 at Southampton

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara — India’s most dependable partnership in recent times

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Virat Kohli’s opportunity to find form

Phil Hughes smashes List A double-ton: List of batsmen who have achieved same feat

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Key highlights from Test series

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

‘Malaysian Airlines MH17 jet was hit by missile shrapnel’

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 3 at Southampton

Telangana train-bus accident toll rises to 18

Mohit Riana was the first choice for Creature

Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7: Salman Yusuff Khan leaving the show?

Live Cricket Score: England vs India 3rd Test, Day 3 at Southampton

Pupillometer eye-wearable device can spot diabetes-related condition

Good news shared via text and Twitter, bad news on phone

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here