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)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test: Australia's practice session


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Rohit Sharma gave a fantastic account of himself: Sanjay Bangar

Yuvraj Singh flays media for twisting statements on future in international cricket

India A beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs in tour match; Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Karn Sharma shine

Kevin Pietersen saga: Stuart Broad, James Anderson saddened by bullying claims

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

West Indies crisis: Trinidad and Tobago condemns West Indies’ pullout from India tour

MS Dhoni told me there’s nothing called ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’: Pankaj Singh

All-India PSU T20 Tournament: Oriental Insurance defeat HPCL

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in favour of Najam Sethi as ICC President

Justice Mudgal Committee report on IPL spot-fixing to be submitted on November 3

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Highest identical scores in both innings of a Test

Younis Khan — perhaps Pakistan’s greatest batsman ever

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here