Virender Sehwag is yet to come good in this year's edition of CLT20 © IANS
Virender Sehwag is yet to come good in this year’s edition of CLT20 © IANS (File photo)

By R Vishal

Sep 26, 2014

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), the runners up in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have transported the same verve and cameraderie they showed in the Indian mega-event to the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) as well. A couple of solid displays, especially the Akshar Patel and David Miller-inspired chase was an enthralling battle which saw the strength in depth of the team. Chasing has been the team’s strong suit but with the aforementioned reserves in powerhouse performers in the starting XI, they are equally adept in setting up scores as well.

Whether Virender Sehwag can turn back the clock is anyone’s guess. In the elegant Manan Vohra, India have yet another player waiting on the fringes to slot into Team India. However,  against Tim Southee and Trent Boult — two of the finest young pacers in world cricket, KXIP’s batting line-up have their task cut out.

Boult has already shown that he can get swing and movement in the dead wickets in India too. New Zealand’s new ball bowlers hold the edge in this battle and countering the threat of the Boult-Southee axis will define the outcome of this contest too.

Northern Knights will laregly depend on their Kiwi International to take charge and lead the way, as they have through the tournament. Kane Williamson continues to make giant strides to enter the top bracket of batsmen and has a hundred to his name in this competition. Apart from Williamson, Southee and Boult, New Zealand have plenty of bits an pieces cricketers who can all be an asset in the format.

Squads:

Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey (c) , Virender Sehwag, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell , Akshar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Karanveer Singh, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Thisara Perera, Rishi Dhawan, Anureet Singh, Parvinder Awana.

Northern Knights: Daniel Flynn (c), Graeme Aldridge, Jono Boult, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, DJ Harris, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson, Brad Wilson.

Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(R Vishal is a journalist, beach lover, Chelsea FC fan and a wannabe globetrotter. Being a loyal student of the Tariq Iqbal school of cricket stopped him from fulfilling his dream of becoming a cricketer. Now, he just writes and talks about the game; He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)