Kings XI v Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Cuttack

Cuttack awaits cyclone Maxwell

The Preview by Devashish Fuloria

May 10, 2014

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A
Hattangadi: Kings XI playing free cricket

Match facts

Sunday, May 11, 2014
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)


Robin Uthappa struck five fours and a six, Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Ranchi, May 2, 2014
With 256 runs, Robin Uthappa is the leading Indian batsman in the IPL © BCCI
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Big Picture

Odisha may be one of the worst-hit states in India when it comes to tropical cyclones, but there is one storm they wouldn't mind hosting again and again. By some strange IPL scheduling, they have landed two Kings XI Punjab home games despite being almost 1900 km away from Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab. And they won't be complaining after what happened few days back when Glenn Maxwell made a mockery of the bigger boundaries to lead the team to 231, the highest total this year. A similar mouth-watering prospect awaits the Cuttack crowd, now surely behind the Kings XI team just as the rest of the country, as Maxwell and Co prepare to take on Kolkata Knight Riders' Narine and Co.

Although they are faced with a daunting task, Knight Riders can take solace in a few facts. Firstly, their bowling has been the only one which has tasted success against Kings XI batting this year. Secondly, they have a settled top order that has, for now, mitigated some of their batting problems. Both Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been among runs in the team's last two outings and now the team just needs their middle order to wake up. Thirdly, a loss to Kings XI may not hurt their chances much - everyone's losing to them - but a win could be a huge bonus. Lastly, it's a chance to get used to the conditions in Cuttack as their next match, against Mumbai Indians, has been rescheduled to the venue.

Form guide

Kings XI Punjab WWLWW
Kolkata Knight Riders WLLLL

Where they stand

Kings XI: First, with seven wins in eight games
Knight Riders: Fifth, with three wins in eight games

Players to watch

Virender Sehwag's year in domestic cricket hasn't been too different from Yuvraj Singh's - both have been reduced to a shadow of what they once were. However, Sehwag is still managing to make a difference to Kings XI. He is third behind Maxwell and David Miller in the list of top run-scorers for the team despite a highest of 37. In six games out of eight, he has set the stage up for an onslaught, without appearing overtly-aggressive or mindlessly cowed. A Sehwag sticking to his supporting role seamlessly has worked wonders for Kings XI.

The Knight Riders openers were critical in them reaching 160 in their last two matches, a welcome change from their inconsistent run this season. Quietly, Uthappa has crept up the batting charts - he is the top run-getter in the tournament among the Indian batsmen. Gambhir, after a horror start, is also back in form with two consecutive fifties. The two will need to fire again if Knight Riders are to challenge the intimidating Kings XI batting.

Previous encounter

There has been only one blot in Kings XI batting's otherwise almost faultless run this season. Maxwell was bowled for 15 off 12, Miller could only manage 14 and Sehwag was the top-scorer in a total of 132 for 9 with just 37 when they met Knight Riders earlier in Abu Dhabi. They tripped up against the spin duo of Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla, who shared three wickets apiece. But their seamers dished out an even rougher treatment to Knight Riders' batsmen, trampling them for 109 all out.

Stats and trivia

  • Kolkata Knight Riders are the most economical team when it comes to the last five overs. They give away 8.30 runs per over at the death
  • Virender Sehwag has hit as many fours as David Miller - 23. But when it comes to sixes, Miller has 11 more than Sehwag's five.
  • With 11, Gautam Gambhir has most run-out dismissals among IPL batsmen

Quotes

"The next few matches are crucial for us, especially now that we are back in Indian conditions, and we are confident that the two potent spinners will get us back into the reckoning by giving us the results we are looking for."
Gautam Gambhir on Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine

"Hats off to our coach Sanjay Bangar. I was a bit tentative about playing as much spin here as it's a small ground and Sanjay saw the wicket and felt like it was going to turn and he was spot on. He [Shivam] backed him up; he bowled beautifully."
George Bailey after the win in Bangalore

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 11, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

shaikb have not that much of seen.....

Posted by   on (May 11, 2014, 10:40 GMT)

KKR should defeat today.....why sakib dropped!!! This is unjustified.... they should suffered....

Posted by   on (May 11, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

without sakib ....KKR is ZERO....remember it......Today KKR lost the match easily. .....

Posted by   on (May 11, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

Play Morkel, Cummins, Narine and Shakib and take on M&M head on. If the Punjab batting order can be held in check, KKR has one of the best Indian batting orders with Gauti, Robin, Pandey, Bisla and Yousuf. Its a gamble but worth taking.

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (May 11, 2014, 10:08 GMT)

@Facebook User Maxwell did hit Ajmal out of the park on a square turner in Bangladesh in the World T20, but ok, I guess Ajmal is not a great bowler right? Besides, Maxwell is not a slogger. Yes, he does have slogging shots, but he is more of a timer and likes finding the gaps in the field. He puts the bowler on the back foot by playing an unorthodox brand of cricket. He is an intelligent player. He is a bit prone to playing one too many shots but So were Sehwag, Gilchrist and Hayden. He is unique and something special. He has already done well domestically on the seaming Australian pitches and gotten the hang of India's "best spinner", Ashwin. So, they hype is well deserved. I can name so many other overhyped players who have done absolutely nothing.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (May 11, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

@FBUser: Maxwell doesn't have to score runs in India. India isn't the ultimate test for an Australian cricketer, the Ashes are. Besides, Sehwag and Yuvraj are gone, players come and go, the game remains. Right now, it's Maxwell's time.

Posted by girijijgoswami on (May 11, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

With due respect to kallis Lynn should be in the playing 11. Lynn is KKR's maxwell if he gets chance

Posted by   on (May 11, 2014, 9:44 GMT)

People are jumping the gun about maxwell. As far as hitting is concerned I have seen likes of Sehwag and Yuvraj, when they were at their best, destroying likes of lee and shoaid akhtar with ease. Maxwell can't do that even in dreams. Morever real test will come in test matches in India for maxwell. He would hardly score a 20 with ball turning square. Slogging can work only in this format. I am no fan of maxwell, he is overrated.

Posted by   on (May 11, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

wish kkr win this game. And please avoid to answer to the commentators like Blind_Bird.

Posted by   on (May 11, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

Kings XI should finish in the top 2 now, one more win needed to confirm this in my opinion. I'd drop Patel to give him a rest and put Dhawan back in. Also Vohra in for Mandeep who is a little impatient My team: Sehwag, Vohra, Maxwell, Miller, Bailey, Dhawan, Saha, Johnson, Shivam, Balaji, Sharma

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Tournament Results
KKR v Kings XI at Bangalore - Jun 1, 2014
KKR won by 3 wickets
Super Kings v Kings XI at Mumbai - May 30, 2014
Kings XI won by 24 runs
Super Kings v Mum Indians at Mumbai (BS) - May 28, 2014
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KKR won by 28 runs
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