Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2012, Mohali April 17, 2012

Will Gambhir have reason to smile?


Match facts

Wednesday, April 18, Mohali
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

Three days after they failed to chase 132 after having been 73 for 2 at home against Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders run into the same team again, this time in Mohali. The Eden Gardens game was Knight Riders' to lose; they went ahead and and somehow contrived to lose it, failing to get 13 off the final 12 deliveries. It was one of those Knight Riders defeats that just happened though they had no business getting defeated. There are numerous sides that fail to win from strong positions, but the underachievers tag has stuck particularly hard to Knight Riders, not least due to the many big players they have.

The slow and turning Kolkata pitch has worked against them twice in three games now; even in the third match, they had to work hard to get past Rajasthan Royals. A change of venue and wicket would be welcome for the visitors. However, the Kings XI medium-pacers, led by Dimitri Mascarenhas, proved difficult to get away on the Mohali pitch against Pune Warriors.

Players to watch

Gautam Gambhir was livid after the loss to Kings XI in Kolkata, saying that his batsmen needed to play "intelligent cricket." Strong decisions would be taken unless players started performing, Gambhir said. Gambhir hasn't exactly done that himself so far, apart from a 64 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. That innings set up Knight Riders' first win of the season after consecutive losses. Gambhir needs to show his misfiring team-mates the way again.

While Gambhir has at least one match-winning innings so far, his counterpart Adam Gilchrist has failed to get going. The retired Gilchrist plays only in the IPL, which makes it only more difficult for him at the start of the season. The sooner he finds some form, the better for his side.

Stats and trivia

  • Of the eight old IPL franchises, Knight Riders' win-loss ratio of 0.78 is the second-worst, after Deccan Chargers' 0.67
  • Mandeep Singh is the only Kings XI batsman to have made more than 100 runs so far this season


    "He is a hard worker. He is a terrific young man. I'm just trying to create the environment that he is comfortable to be a part of and that he knows the specific role that he has got.."
    Adam Gilchrist on Kings XI's hero of the previous game, Harmeet Singh

    "He's a match-winner. He can turn a match in a blink of an eye. We are showing confidence in him. He's got the full support of everyone in the team. Everyone knows what a devastating player he can be. It's only a matter of time before he wins us that game."
    Knight Riders' coach Trevor Bayliss on Yusuf Pathan

    Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on April 18, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    Excellent captaincy by Gambhir and equally good captain's knock. Take bow! All the Shakib fanatics - this is IPL. Not Bangladesh team or BPL. Get real. If you can't digest the proceedings, go watch Bangladesh Domestic Cricket.

  • Hayat on April 18, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    @Avijit Rai, Not change the owner, who have been the most patient all these years unlike those , say at RCB/DC, but rather change the city/province, as that would liberate the Knight Riders of fanatics on either side of the international border rooting for their favorite players irrespective of their utility, but always with hidden agendas. There is no difference in some locals disliking KKR for dropping a non performing Ganguly, while the BD fans going over the top for Sir Shakib, and abusing Gambhir with an agenda of displacing him from captiancy and seeking to plant him there! far fetched it may be but you get the feel here on the boards.

    The Knights need fans and not fanatics! I'm sure any other city in India would give anything to host an IPL team.

  • Zam on April 18, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    Hey guys it seems my proposal for the team on this track was accepted, and it has delivered! ;-D

    Its sad to see BD fans not understanding that though Shakib is good however the balance on this track is better off with this composition. Just now Mc Cullum has gotten out for 15, but the fact that the bowling delivered and the target isn't daunting means the team selected was right.

    I feel that fans need to support teams and not individuals, and just coz your favorite isn't on the board should not be a reason to desert the team!

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    why they let a man of the match sakib in sideline?

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 15:25 GMT


  • syed on April 18, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Brett Lee, McCullum (Huge flop) in place Shakib and Tendo???????? Gambhir come to your senses... Gambhir is spoiling team morale with his tough and demotivating words.... Though a KKR fan I'm supporting Kings XI today.. Gambhir doesn't have a single quality to be a captain...

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    rather change the owner! !!

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    why are they not giving azhar mahmood a chance?

  • Dummy4 on April 18, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Gambhir (and KKR) is so gonna regret not keeping Shakib Al Hasan in the main squad. Shakib was performing consistently with the ball. What else does he have to to secure a place in the main team? Get all the wickets??!?!

  • Phani on April 18, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    I still feel KKR lacks the middle order strenght. Too much on Sakib, who always can't win the match for you. My Batting order: Kallis, Bisla, Tiwary, Gambhir, Morgan, Shakib, Yousuf, Bhatia, Lee, Narnie, Balaji. Try this order. Am sure, KKR can win this cup

  • No featured comments at the moment.