Punjab v Bangalore, IPL 2011, Dharamsala May 16, 2011

Himalayan task ahead of Punjab

The Preview by Dustin Silgardo

Match Facts

Tuesday, May 17 Start Time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

You come into the tournament with the weakest team on paper; shock everyone by winning three of your first four matches; give the IPL its first surprise hero of the tournament; have an inexplicable seven-day break that seems to derail your campaign; claw your way back into contention with three wins; and your reward is to play for survival against an unstoppable Chris Gayle on a miniature ground in Dharamsala. Who'd be Kings XI Punjab?

Gayle's 436 runs at an average of 87.20 and strike-rate of 201.85 have left even his illustrious team-mates in the shade. Punjab will have particularly bad memories of him; in the first encounter between the two sides, Gayle scored 107 off 49 balls and then took three wickets.

The good news for them is the seemingly-bionic Gayle has not had the most comfortable stay in the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh since arriving on Sunday. Cold showers, ill-timed construction work and his fans on twitter kept him awake for most of his first night, and Punjab will be grateful for any further assistance in disconcerting the man who has smashed 32 sixes in seven games since arriving in India.

They would be ill-advised to fixate on Gayle, though, because unlike Delhi Daredevils, who are lost without their main man, Bangalore have plenty in reserve. Don't be surprised if Gayle goes for a duck and Bangalore win anyway.

Adam Gilchrist has been talking up his players after their big win against Delhi Daredevils at the same ground, prophesising a bright international career for Piyush Chawla, and likening Paul Valthaty's style of batting to his own. Is that his way of boosting their confidence before they take on a side whose seven-match winning streak has given new meaning to that elusive IPL quantity - "momentum"? Or is it simply placing them on a wobbly plank, or a precipice from which Gayle and Co. would be only happy to push them down.

Team talk

Preity Zinta's pep talk hasn't had much of an impact on David Hussey's form. He's scored 64 runs from seven innings; Ryan Mclaren scored more in the three innings he had, and gives the side another seam-bowling option in conditions that offered some swing during the Punjab-Delhi match. If Punjab can look beyond Hussey's $1.4mn price tag, they may consider a swap.

Bangalore have qualified for the play-offs, but are still fighting to be in the top two. So there shouldn't be too much experimentation with their winning combination. With Tillakaratne Dilshan gone, 21-year-old South African Rilee Rossouw may get a call-up.

In the spotlight

The last time Piyush Chawla bowled to Chris Gayle, he was greeted with two thumping sixes, but got his man in the end, albeit after Gayle had already taken the game away from Punjab. This time, Chawla is coming off his best Twenty20 performance. Will Gilchrist risk throwing him the ball early to remove Gayle?

Zaheer Khan has not had the same kind of impact on the IPL that he had on the World Cup, or for that matter any series he plays for India. Praveen Kumar, though, got some prodigious swing at this ground, and it would be just like Zaheer to take on the responsibility of removing the core of a top-heavy Punjab line-up.

Prime numbers

  • Paul Valthaty is two runs ahead of Chris Gayle in the run charts, so Tuesday's game will be a shoot-out for the orange cap. Gayle, of course, has played five less matches
  • Praveen Kumar's four maidens is the highest for any bowler in a single season of the IPL. Yet somehow his economy-rate is 7.70.
  • Out of six IPL innings in Dharamsala, five have seen scores of more than 170


"Seriously though, Punjab really take a brother in to the mountains. It's the coldest shower I ever had in my life. No TV. Hill and gully bus ride!"
Chris Gayle lets his fans on Twitter know about his living conditions in Dharamsala

"Valthaty has an attacking style of play and in such a style results are always inconsistent. I know this because I'm speaking through personal experience."
Adam Gilchrist identifies with his opening partner

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    GAYLE & KOHLI magic !! :) :)

  • Mohan on May 17, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    As the saying goes the braver and stronger the performance in a battle,larger is his survival to fight for another day.RCB and Kings XI look strong in their batting but weak in their bowling though.As it comes down the only men who can make difference are Adam Gilchrist and Chris Gayle.Gayle is in good form;Gilly is inconsistent.IF gilly finds form and Gayle goes cheaply then match to Kings XI.If the forms continue then match to RCB.But RCB has a better chance to knock MI out by losing this match!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sameera on May 17, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    RCB has been doing great in the tournament and yes thanks to Gayle... But, has anyone thought as why??? Why does RCB have a psychological advantage over other teams... Why is it sharing the space in the top of the table with Chennai and Mumbai.. All the 3 teams are headed by the legends of Indian cricket.. Kumble(if not literally), Dhoni and Sachin respectively and their leadership certainly does count. Go RCB... Demolish !!!!

  • shurwayne on May 17, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    @Narsinator, are you for real? ..man u could tell u an aussie or an indian...i higly doubt indian though, West Indies dropped Gayle because of turmoil betwenn him and the board..not because he is an ordinary player....but everyone is entitled to their opinion...Gilchrist only averages better than Gayle in test, for an all-rounder, i ll take Gayle anytime over any other at this point...his avergae in T20 is over 35, his bowling average is under 30....i think its reasonable to say for an opening batsmen all-rounder thats excelent...do you know any other all that has much better averages in twenty20? Stop hating a man when really there arent many much better...Lets go Banglore....According to my friend, let gilly have his avergae day and let our team have their day so we can win...

  • Karthik on May 17, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    Punjab can never win against the mighty Bangalore.

  • Raghu on May 17, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    @Ali: why everyone is talking of Gayle- Simply because he is in theform of his lif and come out there with a point to prove to every one at WICB. which is great for RCB As for Gilchrist, he isnt even a star on the decline, he is essentially not the same. Have you seen his shots where he really tries hard to clear the ground and ends up holing out in the deep. On the other hand gayle doesnt even try to hit hard. The only time he holes out in deep is when he mishits.

    Thats why everyone is talking about Gayle and not Gilchrist

  • Balaji on May 17, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    may the best team wins!!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    lol.. whoevr says gayle closes his eyes an jus swings his bat.. open ur eyes!!! hav u seen his fours? its sweet timing and placement most of th times! don jus luk at th much highlighted sixes! th man has enormous talent.. u cant take dat away 4m him!

  • Ahmed on May 17, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    Y everybodu talking about Gayle only.... Don't forget if its Gilchrist day, u can expect a 40 ball hundred.. Remember 1st IPL. I hope today is Gilly Day...and Gayle also fires, then we will see who is better...

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    rcb isn't only depend on gayle...They have abalanced side with kohli,diviliers,tiwari,zaheer,arvind..............but it's a do and die match for kings eleven.........So it is going to be a big fight,

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