Punjab aim to keep pace
Match factsTuesday, May 8
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Kings XI Punjab have developed a reputation of being one of the best teams on the road, beating four of the top five teams in away matches. At home, they haven't been as good, losing their previous four matches at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali.The last of those was a heavy defeat to Rajasthan Royals, which their captain David Hussey termed one of their worst matches in IPL. Kings XI aren't considered among the top teams in the competition, and rarely go into a game as favourites, but against a demoralised Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad, they won't be the underdogs for once.
They are still waiting on the fitness of their regular captain, Adam Gilchrist, who has missed their previous six matches with hamstring problems. If he is fit in time for tomorrow, Kings XI will have a difficult choice to make: which of their overseas players to leave out? Shaun Marsh has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the IPL across seasons, Hussey is also a confirmed starter, Azhar Mahmood provides muscular hitting as well as four bankable overs with the ball, while Ryan Harris took four wickets in his previous game.
Kings XI still have a realistic chance of reaching the play-off but Chargers don't after an AB de Villiers onslaught on Sunday pretty much confirmed a second miserable season in a row for them. In 2011, they managed to save face by winning the final three games of the campaign to finish seventh, climbing three places in the final week. They have been bottom of the pile virtually the entire tournament this year, and will hope for another winning run to avoid becoming the first team to finish last twice in the IPL.
Form guide(completed games, most recent first)
Deccan Chargers: LLWLW
Kings XI Punjab: LWWLW
Players to watch
Dale Steyn has produced some of the most testing spells of the tournament, but has also had some forgettable days. In the two matches against Mumbai Indians, he proved nearly unplayable but against Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors he went wicketless and leaked runs at 11 an over or more. On Sunday against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he was very good at the start - bowling a maiden to Chris Gayle - before being taken apart by de Villiers at the death, with his 23-run over turning the match. Which Steyn will turn up on Tuesday? And will Chargers pick Rusty Theron ahead of him?
Praveen Kumar hasn't had the best of seasons, struggling to pick wickets and make an impact in a side where he is the leading Indian quick bowler. He was outstanding against Royal Challengers, sending down one of the most economic spells in IPL history, but Kings XI will expect more from him than just three wickets in 11 matches.
Stats and trivia
- Chargers have tried 23 players this season, more than any other team. Mumbai and Royal Challengers are next with 22 players each.
- Chargers' fielding has let them down all tournament, reflected by the fact that they have the least number of catches among all teams this year.
Quotes"I don't think it's difficult to motivate us because we want to play our best cricket. We know if we play our best cricket, we will climb up the table."
Daniel Harris says Chargers' intensity will remain though a play-off place looks extremely unlikely
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.