Bangalore: May 2, 2012
In spite of languishing at the eighth slot in the table with five defeats and four wins in nine games, an unfazed Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will arrive in Bangalore on Wednesday and look for avenging its loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) though wary of their explosive batsman Chris Gayle.
"They (RCB) have a star-studded line-up. They have big names, with the dangerous Chris Gayle at the top order though we took them down to last three balls in our previous match," Kings XI coach-cum-captain Adam Gilchrist told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the match at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Chasing 164-run target set by Kings XI at Mohali, in their first encounter in this tournament, RCB made 166 for five wickets in 19.3 overs, with the Jamaican southpaw Gayle hitting 87 in 56 balls comprising four sixes and eight fours and making a 131-run partnership with South African AB de Villiers, who struck 52 of 39 balls.
Though Gilchrist will not be playing due to hamstring injury he had during his team's match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on April 18, he acknowledged that RCB had many players other than Gayle who can take the game away from them.
"Virat (Kohli) is one on the course to be one of the best players in the world. He will be very keen to do well in this IPL. There are world class bowlers with them as well," Gilchrist observed.
Noting that the Bangalore wicket was different from that of Mohali, the former Aussie keeper said he expected the ball to bounce a bit more.
"The practice wicket here is very much like the match condition. That is a credit to the ground staff here. As there is still 24 hours to go for the game, we haven't finalised our final 11," Gilchrist said.
The home team, however, is confident of making up for its 47-run loss to KKR Sunday (April 29) in Kolkata and staying on course for a berth in the semis with four wins and four losses and a point from a rain-hit match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) April 25 here.
"We are fifth on the points table. If we win four-five games, we will qualify for semis. So, I don't think we are going to experiment anymore or at least in the next few games," RCB skipper Daniel Vettori told reporters at a pre-match presser in Bangalore late Tuesday.
Admitting that the top order was not consistent all the time, he said it was always difficult to expect batsmen to fire all the time.
"As a batting side, we have being doing a good job. The combination that worked for us so far is to have three overseas batsmen and one bowler. So will continue to have that (combination)," Vettori noted.
Asked if out-of-form Kohli will open the innings, Vettori said he had to open in the previous games as Gayle was sick.
"That was an experiment as Gayle was sick. So will keep Virat lower in the order,"
On the team's plans for a back-to-back win against Kings XI, the former New Zealand left-arm spinner said taking wickets early would makes things easier.
"Opening bowlers should be searching for wickets as much as they can to restrict the opponents when bowling first or get early breakthroughs to take the game away," he added. (IANS)