KKR vs KXIP, IPL 2016, Match 32 at Kolkata: Likely XI for Murali Vijay and Co.
KXIP faced a blow following that inspiring win when their most experienced player Shaun Marsh was ruled out of IPL 2016 due to a back injury.
With fifty per cent matches having played in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) can start afresh as they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 32 on Wednesday at Eden Gardens. Just two wins so far in the ninth edition of IPL, KXIP must win at least six of their upcoming seven matches in the group stage to make it to the final four. Murali Vijay-led KXIP, in the first match as the skipper of the franchise, defeated the table-toppers Gujarat Lions (GL) by 23 runs at Rajkot. However, they faced a blow following that inspiring win when their most experienced player Shaun Marsh was ruled out of this season due to a back injury. Here is the likely XI for KXIP prior to their clash against KKR at Kolkata: Full Cricket Scorecard:Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2016 Match 32 at Eden Gardens
Top order: Manan Vohra, who had the scores of 7, 25 and 8 in his previous three outings, was dropped in the game against GL. In his absence, Marcus Stoinis was paired with skipper Vijay to open Punjab s innings and this experiment went on to work in the favour of their side. The duo shared a stand of 65 runs off 6.4 overs, therefore giving Punjab a flying start to their innings.
The Australian scored a quick 17-ball 27, while Vijay boosted with 55 off 41. With Marsh gone, Glenn Maxwell will be sent at No. 3 with a huge responsibility to build the innings. He cannot afford to throw away his wicket as the source of majority of runs for Punjab will depend on these three.
Middle order: Punjab finally gave Gurkeerat Mann his first match in IPL 2016 when Punjab locked horns with Gujarat in the latter s home. Although he failed to impress after getting dismissed for a duck, he can be handy in the middle order and deserves another chance to display his skills. David Miller and Wriddhiman Saha come in next in the line-up and these guys hold immense potential to turn tables around in the favour of their side if they manage to play their natural game.
Lower order and Bowling: The likes of Akshar Patel and Mitchell Johnson can be handy with the bat during the final overs. These two will also hold an important role with the ball, leading the respective spin and pace department of Punjab. Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma have made breakthroughs in almost every match of Punjab so far. Mohit has 10 wickets to Sandeep s seven from seven appearances in this tournament so far. Akshar has been equally effective with eight scalps to his name in the same number of matches.
Overall, except for Marsh s replacement, Vijay will most likely want to go with the same playing XI from their match against Gujarat. The last time KXIP faced KKR, it was Marsh who top scored for his side and this shows his absence in the team will surely affect Punjab. The likes of Maxwell, Miller and Saha, who are the backbone of Punjab s batting, haven t struck together in IPL 2016; and when that happens, they can easily post a competitive total on board and put Johnson and Co. in a position to defend the total.
Kings XI s likely XI: Murali Vijay (c), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Akshar Patel, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Sandeep Sharma, Mitchell Johnson
(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is do only what you enjoy. Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)