Kings XI v Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Qualifier 1, Kolkata

Can KKR stop Kings XI's batsmen again?

The Preview by Karthik Krishnaswamy

May 26, 2014

Comments: 126 | Text size: A | A
Guha: Knight Riders slight favourites

Match facts

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)

Robin Uthappa drives down the ground, Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Delhi, May 7, 2014
Robin Uthappa has made nine successive 40-plus scores © BCCI

Big Picture

No team this season have scored their runs as quickly as Kings XI Punjab. Their tournament run-rate, so far, is 9.03, which means they have scored nearly half a run more in every over than the second-best team on that list, Chennai Super Kings (8.35).

No team this season has been as frugal with the ball as Kolkata Knight Riders. Their tournament economy rate, so far, is 7.63, which is a healthy distance ahead of Mumbai Indians' 7.93.

The first Qualifier - postponed by a day due to rain in Kolkata* - will then pit the top two teams in the tournament against each other, the best batting unit against the best bowling attack. Most of the time, it's overly simplistic to consider just half of the contest. It would be particularly simplistic in this case, considering Robin Uthappa, a Knight Riders batsman, is the tournament's highest run-getter, and Kings XI have taken the most wickets of any team this season.

Even so, it's hard to look beyond Kings XI's batting line-up as the most decisive element of the game. Six times this season, they've scored 190 or more, and three of those scores came in successful chases. They are yet to lose a game batting second. Batting first, they have failed to cross 150 only twice.

Both those sub-150 scores, however, came against Knight Riders. Two matches is too small a sample size from which to draw conclusive evidence that Knight Riders know the formula to keep Glenn Maxwell and his mates quiet, but given the bowling attack at their disposal and the fact that they are playing at home, you could see it happening again. Consider, also, that Knight Riders finished second on the points table on the back of seven straight wins, and that most of their players have hit form coming into the knockouts.

Kings XI, on the other hand, have tailed off somewhat despite their results remaining solid enough. They rotated their squad after sealing a top-two place, and some of their early-season form players - Maxwell and Sandeep Sharma, in particular - haven't had a great time of late. Given the low-intensity nature of their last few league games, though, Kings XI will welcome the spike in energy and intensity that comes with a knockout game.

The conditions will also come into play after the game was deferred on Tuesday due to heavy rain over the last few days. If conditions do not improve on Wednesday to allow a full game or even a five-over contest, the teams will hope to squeeze in a Super Over. In case no play is possible, Kings XI will enter the final, having finished at the top of the table in the league stages, while Knight Riders will play the second qualifier against the winner of the eliminator between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

Form guide

Kings XI Punjab: WWLWW (completed games, most recent first)
Kolkata Knight Riders: WWWWW

League meetings

Before the first meeting between these two sides, Kings XI's batting had looked unstoppable, having scored 206, 193 (both of these in successful chases) and 193 in their first three matches. And then, sent in to bat in Abu Dhabi, they struggled to 132 for nine, with Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla taking three wickets each. Knight Riders, however, were yet to sort out their batting, and they collapsed to 109 all out.

By the time the sides faced each other again, Knight Riders' top order was beginning to find some form. Set a target of 150, after a Kings XI innings in which no one apart from Virender Sehwag made any serious contribution, Knight Riders won by nine wickets, after Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir put on a third straight 50-plus opening partnership.

Watch out for...

Since the IPL moved back to India, Glenn Maxwell's form has tailed off. Seventeen batsmen have outscored him in the India leg, and even though his numbers here - 233 runs at an average of 29.12 and a strike rate of 180.62 - look ordinary only in comparison to the mindblowing stats he racked up in the UAE - 300 runs at 60.00 and a strike rate of over 200 - they are propped up to a large extent by one innings, a 38-ball 90 against Chennai Super Kings in Ranchi.

Against Knight Riders, meanwhile, his scores so far are 15 and 14. Of the 26 balls he faced across those two innings, 24 were bowled by Sunil Narine, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis, so Knight Riders have clearly gone in with some sort of plan against him. Morkel's bounce is a particularly obvious weapon Knight Riders will look to use against Maxwell, particularly after his last innings against Delhi Daredevils, in which he looked uncomfortable against the rising ball.

Since moving up to open the batting, Robin Uthappa has made nine successive 40-plus scores and climbed to the top of the tournament's run charts. He has done this largely by means of easy-on-the-eye drives, with a remodelled technique built around a big front-foot stride and a batswing that comes down from almost behind his body. It's a technique built for playing in the V, but - if he weren't seeing the ball so well - it could, theoretically, put him in unsound positions against the short ball as well as cause him to play around his front pad while on-driving and flicking off his pads, bringing lbw into play. Mitchell Johnson is one bowler who could potentially exploit both these (admittedly hypothetical) technical issues.

Stats and trivia

  • Sunil Narine (5.91) and Shakib Al Hasan (6.30) have the best economy rates among all bowlers this season who have bowled 10 or more overs

  • Sandeep Sharma has been the most potent new-ball bowler this season. Of his 17 wickets, 12 have come in the Powerplay overs, the most by any bowler in the tournament. Sunrisers Hyderabad's Bhuvneshwar Kumar is second on that list, with eight wickets in the first six overs.

  • Batting teams have gone at a run rate of 8.82 this season at the Eden Gardens. Only the Wankhede Stadium has been a quicker-scoring venue.


"It is never easy. I wasn't even sure whether I was out of form because I had played just 14 deliveries in my four outings."
Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir on his dramatic turnaround in form after starting the season with scores of 0, 0, 0 and 1

"The one thing that is of paramount importance to us is the team composition. We have been very fortunate that the players who missed out have been very supportive and helped in creating a good dressing room atmosphere."
Kings XI head coach Sanjay Bangar on having had to leave out big names such as Shaun Marsh to meet the overseas-player restriction

May 27, 2014 1303 GMT. This preview has been updated to reflect news of the match being postponed

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Karthik Krishnaswamy

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

KKR will win today if bats second.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

Maxwell's sixers have all come in smaller grounds. all those hits may become catches in Eden Gardens. All depends on Uthappa- Gambhir partnership in this match. If Gambhir comes god, we can say it is Kolkatta's match.

Posted by wapuser on (May 27, 2014, 17:10 GMT)

Mark my words...viru is going to play a blender to insure his place in indian team...its gonna be his day....viru nd saha both are going to make 50s....

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

@Mr. Krishnaswamy..... This game is not a knock-out game. The loser still has a chance of qualifying for the FINALS.......

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

ohhhhh!!!! what happen we have to wait for tomorrow for the match !!!!!

Posted by gsingh7 on (May 27, 2014, 15:01 GMT)

pavinasen--- whistle podu all u want but mi will thrash csk and u will be watching the playoffs from couch like rest of csk team. come on mumbai and bhajji, thrash csk into ground and play kings 11 in the finals.

Posted by Pavinasen on (May 27, 2014, 12:57 GMT)

Any takers , who will meet CSK in the finals.This is the way I see it. KXI will beat KKR , CSK will beat MI , CSK will beat KKR ,final KXI v CSK ,winner 2014 CSK .

Posted by Rj86 on (May 27, 2014, 12:40 GMT)

Match postponed for tomorrow, before the eliminator between CSK & Mumbai. Hardluck!

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

I hope KKR do stop them since my first choice team, RCB, performed miserably and KKR is my second choice. Sunil Naraine must come to the party to stop the marauding KX1P batsmen, with significant input from Morne Morkel.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

If rain does not stop, the match will go on tomrrow before chennai vs mi match

Posted by zaynmalik on (May 27, 2014, 12:33 GMT)

If the match is washed out then it will be played tomorrow. If it is washed out a second time, then Punjab qualify for the final by virtue of a better Net Run Rate and Kolkata have to play the second Qualifier.

Posted by wapuser on (May 27, 2014, 12:29 GMT)

From stadium match called off for today, and we have tomarrow (reserve day)

Posted by wapuser on (May 27, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

If KKR want to win they have to use sunil narine properly and add piyus chawla in playing 11

Posted by straightbat12 on (May 27, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

Why not have an uncapped XI against Overseas XI /or IPL champions match at the end of the IPL. After all its conducted by BCCI, we should be able to give maximum exposure for the youngsters before they enter international level My uncapped XI for this year would be 1. Manan Vohra 2. Karan Nair 3. Manish Pandey 4. Sanju Samson 5. Suryakumar Yadav 6. Kedhar Jadav 7. Akshar Patel/Bhatia 8. Rishi Dhavan 9. Tambe 10. Chahal /karn Sharma 11. Sandeep Sharma

Posted by Chennai_Cricket on (May 27, 2014, 12:14 GMT)

KKR having all kind of bowling attack Mystery-Mendis, Left arm-shakib, leg spin-chawla, death bowling - yadav, Face attack - Morkel. So they are the best bowling attack in IPL they have more chance to win this match. I like to see csk vs kkr final. csk is very good team in playoffs

Posted by Chennai_Cricket on (May 27, 2014, 12:14 GMT)

KKR having all kind of bowling attack Mystery-Mendis, Left arm-shakib, leg spin-chawla, death bowling - yadav, Face attack - Morkel. So they are the best bowling attack in IPL they have more chance to win this match. I like to see csk vs kkr final. csk is very good team in playoffs

Posted by paringogri on (May 27, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

Hello - questions on rain affecting the game - I have some answers for you.

If the play is washed out today, we have a reserve day tomorrow and the game might take place tomorrow; this is in place for all playoff matches as well as final.

If it rains tomorrow as well, then as per rules, team which is standing higher on the table goes ahead.

Conclusion: Weather in favor of KXIP!

Posted by CricketFan365 on (May 27, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

Today is the unofficial FINAL. This should be a cracker of a game between the two best teams of the tournament.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

what happens if it rains???

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

Chris Lynn for doscate

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

if rain will not stop or match will not paly due to rain or wet field then what will be happened????who will qualify??????

Posted by eng_mdkhan on (May 27, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

Borrowing from (Nolan's epic depiction) the Joker's line, 'what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?' Nothing else I believe does justice to describes this match up. As we reach the climax I am beginning to wonder that somebody might actually be reading my posts. With that in mind I write again. The time for experiments has long gone and the two teams I feel should and will play to their strengths. Batting first KXI will try to bat out KKR the only way they can unless KKR manage to pull them back to 150-160 score then KKR will have the upper hand. If KKR bat first then they have to ensure 190 at least to give the Punjab express a longer run for their money. Here again fielding has to be tight and the biggest advantage for KKR is the Home advantage. The Kolkattans have had their share of disappointments despite the vociferous support but as a KKR fan I hope that tonight they leave the ground resplendent in victory. GG, do not lose faith and victory will be yours.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 10:40 GMT)

Experienced Kallis should include by KKR and droped Ten Doeschate to strong bating line because its a big game.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 10:33 GMT)

My office is 0.5 km away from Eden Gardens. Its raining since morning in Kolkata. Some of the shower were very heavy. It is very gloomy and there is intermittent rain every now and then. The forcast is rain with thunderstorm in the evening. Looking at the drainage system of Eden Gardens it is very unlikely we will have a match today.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

To establish strong bating line of KKR, it should include experienced Kallis and drop Ten Doeschate because its a big game.

Posted by Sharath274 on (May 27, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

Is there a reserve day for this match or else what wud be the decision in case its a washout? will KXIP go thru due to their standing in the league stage??

Posted by anver777 on (May 27, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

If rain permits, I predict its KXI all the way & today KKR bowlers will get thrashed by Max & Miller !! including their Ace bowler Narine !!! what ever the result, both will have 2nd chance if they loses today !!!!

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 10:24 GMT)

sunil narine vs max well sakib vs miller shewag vs morne gud to watch

Posted by lian_14 on (May 27, 2014, 10:22 GMT)

No matter what happens from here, KXIP already have won; they have won the hearts of so many cricket fans. The way they have played has just caught everyone's imagination and the fact that Bailey and Viru have led from the front in terms of playing in the spirit of the game makes it even more admirable.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

Sunil Narine's effect: Maxwell vs KKR, he has faced 26 balls, and scored only 29 runs. beauty is he has faced 24 balls from Sunil Narine. its really WOW.. it will be a good contest between them.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

kxip must win this. (y)

Posted by AnimeGo on (May 27, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

Heavy rain for the last 36hours.. Will be surprised if we get a game today.. Anyway good luck KXIP.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

I think KKR will win today. They have the bowlers like shakib,naraine who are the best economical bowlers in this ipl.And the batting line of kkr is also unquestionable.But i am slightly thinking kkr should include kallis. Because it's a big game and experience may be a big fact.All the best for kkr.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (May 27, 2014, 9:05 GMT)

@ZAID 11 ON MAY 27, 2014, 7:37 GMT: Are u alright?? dropping Uthappa for Lynn/Das?? Seriously :P

Posted by wapuser on (May 27, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

Rain become heavy, today i think no chance of play

Posted by rrr_iba on (May 27, 2014, 8:54 GMT)

I think KKRs success hugely depends on how the other bowlers except Narine performs (especially those Indians Vinay/Yadav/Chawla). They did well in some matches but also leaked heavily in some. They seems to be vulnerable to KXIs power hitters (Shakib may also be a target-but he did very well so far). If they can spend less than 100 in their 12 overs KKR is likely to be the winner.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

Punjab will win today, Shewag, Bailey will rock today. Punjab will win toss and elect to bowl. KKR will score 160-170. Punjab will win by 5-6 wickets.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

I think its a cacke walk 4 knight riders. look kingsx1 twice played night riders and score only 150. today also they bat 1st score 145. after that knight rider will chase it down in 18.4 overs thats the script for todays match dont worry g.g this cup is yors all the best night riders we have 2 magician with balls narine and sakib. 5 magician with bat g.g. uthappa. sakib. tendo. then the real injection the real pathan. come on korbo lorbo jeetbo re korbo lorbo re jeetbo re.

Posted by wapuser on (May 27, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

Rain starts again,but not much heavy.

Posted by runout49 on (May 27, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

Whatever the outcome of this year's IPL , Bailey's boys have consistently played the most attractive cricket and in the spirit of the game. They deserve to win the tournament if for no other reasons.

Posted by wapuser on (May 27, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Hi, i am just , 3km far from eden gardens. Right now its not raining but mostly cloudy,weatheris not good, not sure for the match

Posted by subratachakrabarty on (May 27, 2014, 8:36 GMT)

Two best team battling out today at the Mecca of Indian cricket. Both are equally deserving. At least the team loosing will get another chance, which is, by far, is the best part. Although it is well predicted by every cricket pundits that it will be KXIP bat vs KKR ball, I see it both ways round. I mean both the team is well placed in batting and bowling department. So, the team fielding good, restricting 4s to 3s, 3s to 2s and 2s to 1s and 1s to 0s will have better edge. Take the catches, seize the opportunities coming your way and you would win the match. All the best to both the teams.

Posted by FRpunk on (May 27, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

Sehwag would be the Key for Punjab . Viru is the only Batsman who has tried to attack Narine . Come on Viru Bring Back Your Demonic Form for this Match .

I hope Maxwell and Miller fire too and Mitch Rattles the KKR Openers with Pace , Mitch has to Fire and Out Perform Morne Morkel Today . Dhoom Punjabi .

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

can kkR stop to the maxwell

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (May 27, 2014, 8:27 GMT)

You can't judge anything from last two matches. Both teams KKR and MI had nothing to lose if they lost the match. KKR would've kept their no 3 spot. MI wouldn't have qualified. Nothing to lose they both played fearlessly and threw the bat at everything. Play offs are entirely different. They have to play proper cricket, preserve their wicket, unless you are Sehwag, Yousuf or Maxwell who always play in the 6th gear.

Posted by Pathiyal on (May 27, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

i think it will be an easy walk for Kings XI unless players like Gambhir, Uthappa, Shakib and Yousuf play long innings and Narine and Shakib tie them down from going for big hits.

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (May 27, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

Weather forecast says no rain. Kolkattians saying it rained last night. Anyone in the vicinity, What is the weather conditions now? Hope rain doesn't play spoil sport.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

While much talk is around Maxwell, It will be Sehwag and Vohra who will only fire in this big game. The reason is Maxwell just can't get away with big Swing down to midwicket with Narine in operation in middle overs. Maxwell has also look ordinary against Short Pitch bowling. KKR have enough pace men - Morkel, Umesh to make look Maxwell utterly Silly. All dependent on Indian players on both side. Rarely seen overseas playes in this IPL (except Andersen) delivered under pressure.

Posted by Siva_Bala75 on (May 27, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

Today's MOM will be Sehwag

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

toss will be important in today's match.chasing team will win in Eden. look at last few matches.hard depend any total

Posted by zaid 11 on (May 27, 2014, 7:37 GMT)

kkr should drop ryan doeschate in place of s mondal and kkr also dropped uthappa in place of das/lynn

Posted by harsh12362004 on (May 27, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

Lots of rain here today in Kolkata since last night. KKR bowlers haven't done well in rainy conditions. This should be an advantage for Kings XI, KKR spinners will struggle in wet conditions today.Hoping for some sunshine in Kolkata soon.

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (May 27, 2014, 6:37 GMT)

Just checked the weather forecast for Eden gardens. No rain. Full of sunshine. We will have a cracker of a match today.

For KXIP win:M&M need to fire. Should go after Morne. He tends to be expensive when batsmen go after him. Piush is also hot and cold. So plenty of scoring opportunities. Get Uthappa early and KKR will panic.

For KKR win: Uthappa's contribution at the opening is vital. If yousuf could do half of what he did against SRH, KKR will have a good score. KXIP bowlers are inexperienced. Might wilt under pressure.

All the best for both teams.

As a CSK fan wish for KXIP v CSK finals and CSK to be third time champions. Will also be happy if KXIP win their first title. All other teams have won it before.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 6:32 GMT)

I guess KKR is the favorite, because its coaching staff (Wasim) has helped a lot overcome the pressure situations and Ghambir and Uthapa are real force for KKR.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (May 27, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

I think gambhir has been the best captain this IPL. I don't think any other captain would have used his bowlers that well against RCB. In the last RCB match gambir changed his bowlers beautifully and just didn't give any chance to RCB even though when virat was in top form. whenever you could feel that RCB will start hitting now he gave the bowl to narine and chocked RCB. But just becoz all other teams in play offs have won IPL and Punjab has had a horrid time in last six years, I hope for a punjab win though I am a MI supporter. Kudos to priety zinta as well for sticking with his team and cheering them for last 6 years.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

Today rain will be the winner and cricket the looser !!

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 6:15 GMT)

KKR seemed to be favorites here .As they were the most balanced team right now having hard hitters(yousuf,shakib),aggressive captain(gambhir),mysterious spinners(narine,shakib) ,pacer with uneven bounce(morkel),finisher(yadav)and finally consistency with elegant stroker(uttapa)+ home ground.My bets definitely on kkr.(If maxwell doesn't fire).

Posted by paringogri on (May 27, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

Lets take one game at a time - here with reference to KKR-KXIP match. I feel KKR have the edge over KXIP as there multiple things in their favor.

1. KKR top order is in good form with experience in it; on the contrary Punjab have shuffled their opening pair quite a number of times 2. Punjab has more fire power in middle order to capitalize on good start. 3. Bowling is concerned - KKR are by far the best bowling unit in this IPL; whereas KXIP bowlers have been good in patches but more often leaking too many runs which then has to be covered by batsmen. 4. Ground fielding - KXIP a touch better as they have a younger side. 5. The most unique crowd of Kolkata who will back their side even if its performing their worst and its always a positive thing to play such crucial matches on your home ground.

KXIP have to play best of their cricket today to pull this one off!

Posted by imtiazjaleel on (May 27, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

If KKR loses Uthappa early then it will be a different story altogether becoz they will have a problem with number 3 ( Pandey is not in good form) though they have good lower order batsman.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

still raining here in kolkata so may be todays game will be washed out surely......and punjab will go through final without playing against kkr for their better net run rate. bad luck kkr.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

Yo! I'm from Nepal and I'm quite shocked to see how people are not even considering 'sehwag-factor'. Though he is not in that great form, he still has a colossal impact in winning the game. As a matter of fact, he is one of the rare players who can get rid of Narine (remember his 219 match against Windies?). If he roars today then even 15 Uthappa's' can do nothing.

Posted by Azizul84 on (May 27, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

Weather update please who live near eden garden. Will you miss tonight the cracker of the match.

Posted by Masking_Tape on (May 27, 2014, 4:55 GMT)

Defense win championship. When you have top 2 best ER bowler on the team while rest of the teams went after players with high SR, life can be easy. Not to forget Morkel who bowled the highest amount of dots.

Posted by sarnot on (May 27, 2014, 4:50 GMT)

May be its the time to get back Kallis and Piyush. Piyush in place of Vinay and Kallis in place of Ryan. Why? Because Kallis is a genuine all-rounder whatever he is out of form with bat but still he can ball and may make some runs too. Piyush because of his performance against Kings XI in last two matches. So, if both Kallis and Piyush get in it will give more options for GG. Ryan is not doing bad but may be Kallis is needed for today's match.

In my opinion the best 11 for today's match for KKR would be- GG, Robin, Manish, Kallis, Yusuf, Shakib, Surya, Piyush, Narine, Morne, Umesh

3 pacers and 3 spinners with 7 perfect batsmans. Should be the best way to go. Best of luck KKR.

Posted by dmqi on (May 27, 2014, 4:44 GMT)

For those too optimistic supporters of KKR, just a note of caution that the a top scoring batsman in one game may not be dropped twice in the next game. Narine ,Sakib and Uthappa are the best hope, Morkel is good too. Others are uncertain and those uncertainties will decide the fate of KKR. Pathan, Sakib and Manish batting will be crucial if Gamvir fails.

Posted by Ryder.Prem on (May 27, 2014, 4:35 GMT)

8.35 + (~0.5) = 9.03. ie KXIP scores 9 runs an over while CSK scores 8.5 an over.

Posted by wapuser on (May 27, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

Kkr should go with same team they have most balanced team in this season

Posted by Sukruti on (May 27, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

CSK, remember the IPL 2013 finals!! It's now time to give back to MI what they gave CSK on that horrendous day, of course without taking any credit form Malinga's venomous toe crushing yrokers and throat slitting bouncers. Just concentrate on the conventional type of cricket with good, simple and disciplined bowling. Do not try too much of experimenting like bowling wide leg side and getting thrashed. Once the confidence is lost it can further create chaos and the match could well be over in the initial overs itself. Such is the brutality of this format, it wont let you recover the ground once floored. This is what happened to RR!!!! What mouth watering play offs this season, KXIP, KKR, CSK and MI. None of them entered the play offs just by fluke. All of them are true fighters. I would have surprised if teams like SRH entered with their spineless performances. Dale Steyn is nothing without Vernon Philander on the other end.

Posted by gsingh7 on (May 27, 2014, 3:42 GMT)

Kings 11 punjab have been best team of ipl this doubt they will be at their best in playoffs and considering the amount of talent that kings 11 possess they will win this ipl.come on punjabi shero, win ipl for all the punjabis around the world.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 3:16 GMT)

KKR should thank Dhoni for giving them the chance to come second.It was Dhoni's reluctance to up the NRR in the league matches that gave KKR the chance to overhaul CSK's NRR at the end of the league.CSK could have won several matches with more than 2-3 overs to spare,instead of dragging the matches to the 19th or 20th over . Such attitude shows Dhoni's comfidence level but it is almost bordering on arrogance. I do not know whom Dhoni is going to blame if CSK loses to MI in the eliminator.

Posted by cricpanther on (May 27, 2014, 3:10 GMT)

Hold it together and have some patience, gambhir and company. dont fear and work very hard. Punjab challenge is not tough if you look at it closely. Team pillars based on 3 ausie players, so why not attack them with spinning attack!! Ausie cant play good on spin, sunil, sakib is good enough for them. Also dont think too much of max well. just stick to your basics gambhir and do your best at crunch time rather than lbw or clean bowled out initially. Everyone should see this match as great opportunity to secure final place!!! Just play with your 100 percent ability and believe...thats all...Common can do it, its your home crowed, home pitch advantage.....take it with both the hands and thrash/crush punjab.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 0:57 GMT)

Now in every team 1 maxwell is there. For kkr it's yousuf, for Mumbai it's Anderson and for csk it's Smith. its a very good contest if all fires.

Posted by niazbhi on (May 27, 2014, 0:14 GMT)

Narine, sakib and Morkel should do well. If Chawla bowls well, Punjab will be in trouble. my KKR line up 1. GG 2. Robin 3. RTD 4. Y Pathan 5. Sakib 6. Suriya 7. Pandey/DBDas 8. Chawla 9. Narine 10. Morkel 11. Umesh. Punjab does not need to hit Narine in first 10 overs. But if they can KKR will struggle to stop Punjab.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 23:52 GMT)

in my opinion

kallis should come in fr tendo nd piyush chawla should come in fr vinay

that will give them 3 pacers and 3 spinners

playing xi. would be

1.Gambhir 2. uthappa 3. kallis 4. Yusaf 5. shakib 6. pandey 7. suryakumar 8. chawla 9. narine 10 morkel 11 umesh

this will bring experience of kallis to handle tight situations

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 22:29 GMT)

i think punjab should use maxwell, marsh, bailey and miller to power up their batting line up more against kkr bowling attack also punjab should also make maxwell bowl a few overs....hendrick n johnson isn't doing anything with the ball..... my 11 for punjab is viru, vohra, maxwell, miller, marsh,bailey, saha, rishi dhawan, akshar patel, sandeep sharma and karanveer singh

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 22:21 GMT)

KXIP is against a team who is doing well in both the departments, also there fielding is good too. KKR are the favourites here as they are playing at home. The other factor would be all about how good is KXIP against quality spin, it's not just Sunil, even Sakib and Chawla are bowling really well. KKR have found great combination too, after dropping Kalis the whole team is looking balanced. I'm predicting that the final would be between KKR and MI.

Posted by __PK on (May 26, 2014, 22:16 GMT)

How is 9.03 only nearly half a run more than 8.35? Isn't it over half more? Am I missing something?

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 21:57 GMT)

KKR should make one change.. play Kallis instead of Tendeshketa

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 21:48 GMT)

Tomorrow kkr will stop kings xi's

Posted by Nampally on (May 26, 2014, 20:36 GMT)

KKR is a good team as long as no crazy tactics are used like bowling shrt pitch ball to Maxwell by gentle paced Vinay! This was a terrible decision when they played each other last time. They have good spinners in Shakib & Narine + good pace bowlers in Morkel & Yadev + Kallis or alternate. Uthappa has been the most consistent opener in IPL 7 with the highest total + average. Maxwell will find it hard to deal with Narine & Co if they bowl at their best form. KXIP can only hit the bowlers when they are allowed to. Bowl tight length & direction to bottle their hitters. Sehwag, Vohra & Saha have come to their rescue a few times when the OZ trio failed. All top6 are free swingers who can be tamed. KKR can counter with their openers + Pathan, Shakib, Kallis to blunt he pace of Jonson & swing of Sandeep. It promises to be a tactical battle for supremacy. On paper Punjab has stronger hitters but somewhat suspect bowling. Whilst KKR has strong bowling + batting relying on good start.Close call!

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 19:12 GMT)

may b tomorrow play off will b washed out due to consistent rain in if this continue till tomorrow than Punjab will automatically qualify for final for their nnr......but kkr were clearly favorite to reach out final...bad luck kkr.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (May 26, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

If KKR can somehow get Maxwell out cheaply and then follow that up with Miller's wicket, they WILL WIN. I think it goes without saying that KKR need to play their BEST cricket tomorrow to beat the Kings XI. Here is hoping for a memorable game.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

Tomorrow MR.Gambhir got to ensure fiery aggression in the field. Many of you cricket lovers are saying to drop Pandey ....But still he is a very good fielder so i think he will be in the team..Shakib should bat at no.3 since he plays better cricket specially a quick fire innings at the top will surely help KKR ...Moreover, Chawla better replace Kumar since he is a good leg spinner;plus a handy fielder ...Best of luck KKR .. I am eagerly waiting to see how big maxwi play both Naraine & Moyna since these two spinners are very experienced ..Moreover, morkel will be key as well since he will take the part as a bowling spearhead along side Umesh..Surely ,we may expect a thrilling game...Cheers

Posted by 12345SS on (May 26, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

KKR will win tommorow

Posted by 12345SS on (May 26, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

Shakib is only the player, that KKR can rely on. GG is a player who hardly score runs and always leave before 3 overs. YF Patahan is a player who is a proper player and plays like Gyle. Utapha has been EXCELLENT in this IPL season. Narine player who always tries to be cool.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 17:49 GMT)

you can also put shane marsh in team but maxwell must in also kxip #justsaying

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

First Play off between KKR vs KXIP is likely to be washed out due to rain. It's been raining heavily in Kolkata for the last couple of days and for the next two days there is no chance of improvement according to Meteorological Department. Punjab will go through since they have better NRR than KKR.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

let maxwell to bowl 4 overs then only kings XI can include all overseas inform batsman. mitchi and hendrick looks "battery low" nowadays. veeru, vohra, maxi, marsh, miller, baily, saha, patel, dhavan, karunveer and sandeep.. !!

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 16:43 GMT)

I still Feel Punjab should play with Maxwell, Miller, Marsh and Bailey as 4 Intl Players !! Against Kolkata Strong bowling attack, Punjab must need Strong batting attack to conquer the battle !!

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

no doubt it wud be a taste for ol Kings XI batsmen..not just da MMs...KKR is a strong unit now wid a very good combinationg nd dey hav probably da best bowling attack....jst evrythng...Narine is an unresolved mystery...piyush must play tmrw...shakib is a canny clever bowler nd we ol know his ability wid da bat...nd offcourse Morkel wid his crushing pace and bounce...but more so wid Yusuf cuming bak to form dats a huge advantage for KKR...must be very difficult to beat dem ryt now for any team..croius contender now

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 15:54 GMT)

In my personal opinion i must say as a fan of kkr if tomorow kkr win the toss they should take bowling first , because they have quality spin bowlers as well as pace bowler such as morkel and yadev .2ndly KKR should keep the same squad .3rdly Sakib should be in no 3 as we seen from last couple of matches . Good luck KKR

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 15:23 GMT)

In the 3 years, since the introduction of Page-McIntyre system of playoffs in the IPL 1) No team has won 3 consecutive matches in the playoffs. i.e, Teams placed 3rd or 4th in the point table have never won the title. But, once, a team lost the first playoff game but won the next 2 games to win the title. So 3 high-pressure matches on the trot do not always worn out the teams but the 3rd and 4th teams generally play poorer than 1st and 2nd teams and undergo a lot of pressure which defeats them. 2) 1st placed team has never won the title and the 2nd placed team has always been the winner. Is that a spell ?

Anyway, we all know that T20 is a funny game and 3 years data may not be sufficient enough to derive any conclusions.

Posted by zinuk222 on (May 26, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

KKR has much better bowling attack than KXIP.KKR has decent batting line up too. So my bit on KKR. KXIP has Maxwell and Miller, But i am not sure they will do much against Narine and Morkel. If KKR bat first then Their batting line up should be 1. Ghambir 2. Uthappa 3.Shakib/Pathan 4.Shakib/pathan 5.RTD 6. Panday 7. Suriya 8. Chawla 9.Morkel 10. Narine 11. Umesh

If they batting 2nd and they have to chase around 150 then KKR should continue their current batting lineup. But if they needed 180+ then they should follow my line up.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 15:03 GMT)

Both team wl face haphazardous prob 2 make balance 4 2morrows match...i still belief they both have lcks 1 their strategy..4 instance kxip should play baily top in replace of saha..kkr hve 2 grab d opportunity by conceding d opportunity 2 d best players 2 play more balls thn sakib nd tendo should bat in 3 nd btwn thm pathan wl nake supreme way 2 reach d final...playing 3 special seamers must b suitable 1 d pitch though binay dn't find d way..still he should b favored cz of no replacement...

Posted by srini.n on (May 26, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

Over the three years that the playoffs have been happening, it's always the 2nd placed team in the league stage which takes the IPL crown. Therefore past history suggests that it's KKR's turn to regain the crown....or are we going to see history being re-written ?

Posted by niazbhi on (May 26, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

I am a KKR supporter. If I had to bet on it, I would pick KXIP. They have the right top order Vohra, Shewag, Maxwell, Miller (batsmen #5, #6, or #7 are less important, if your top 4 scores at high SR). They have karanveer, Sandeep, AR Patel, Dhawan. They have Johnson and Hendricks. KKR have Narine and Sakib the stringiest spinners in the game. Their indian bowlers are leaking runs lately. They should take they risk of playing Chawla, Vinay would be hit all over the park anyways. Morkel is bowling really well. He can be inconsistent. Umesh is ok. All KXIP have to do is to make sure Pandey does not get out. KKR will have a low score with dotballs (Pandey balls). If KKR is playing RTD at 6 they should play two foreign quicks with Narine and Sakib (RTD can hardly make any difference at 6). They already missed a trick by not trying him early in previous matches. KKR batting depends a lot on Uthappa, Yusuf and Sakib. Yusuf and Sakib are not as dependable as KXIP top. They are hit or miss.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 14:25 GMT)

There hasn't been any wrong with recent batting order in team KKR. The fine tuning Gambhir did worked perfectly well for KKR. And I am not among those who think dropping Manish will bring good for KKR (it will be the other way round). I would advise to drop Vinay and bring back Chawla.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 14:22 GMT)

yes they can

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

Not to forgot how Shewag hit sunil and manan is in good form too so if KXI opner stayed till 10 over

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 14:03 GMT)

Tomorrow MR.Gambhir got to ensure fiery aggression in the field. Many of you cricket lovers are saying to drop Pandey ....But still he is a very good fielder so i think he will be in the team..Shakib should bat at no.3 since he plays better cricket specially a quick fire innings at the top will surely help KKR ...Moreover, Chawla better replace Kumar since he is a good leg spinner;plus a handy fielder ...Best of luck KKR ..

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 13:49 GMT)

KXIP will win this game if M&M perform. If Sehwag & Vohra make 50+ in the first 6 overs it will allow Maxwell & Miller to play with more freedom and they will go after Kolkata's decent bowling line up.

Posted by Rakes7 on (May 26, 2014, 13:39 GMT)

Kkr should replace piyush in place of vinay because he was the best perfomer for kkr in last 2 outing against punjab.kkr should take the advantage of new ball.kkr xi should be-1gambhir,2uthappa,3pandey,4yusuf,5sakib,6ryan ten,7yadav, 8chawla,9narine, 10morkel11umesh

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

KXIP should drop Maxwell and play Marsh, Maxwell struggles against KKR and Marsh starts going after playing himself in after 15+ balls. If Sehwag Vohra hit 50+ off first 6 and then fall, it'll give time for Marsh to come him, 10 overs in 80ish will mean 180+ with Miller, Bailey etc to come in

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 13:31 GMT)

KXIP should drop Maxwell and play Marsh, Maxwell struggles against KKR and Marsh starts going after playing himself in after 15+ balls. If Sehwag Vohra hit 50+ off first 6 and then fall, it'll give time for Marsh to come him, 10 overs in 80ish will mean 180+ with Miller, Bailey etc to come in

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

KKR is the only team which stopped m&m show. kkr got 3quality international bowlers narine, shakib and morne. KKR should bring chawla. Punjab should not drop karanveer he is a bright talent. maxi should not go after in a very 1st Ball. he should take some time. maxi should be very careful against leg spin. chasing is very is in Kolkata. all the best for both teams. hope KKR will win.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 13:14 GMT)

kkr's middle order are finding form at the time however manish pandey is the weakling as he hasn't made many runs and can't middle the ball at all in the last few games. To get a high score yusuf Pathan or shakib should bat at 3 and four followed by doscate who's a really underrated player. I would also drop vinay kumar and bring in chawla as chawla should know their weakness and strengths and kumar is a hit or miss bowler. Gambir should be a really attacking in the field to get wickets otherwise Punjab XI can make it up with maxwell , Milner and Bailey down the order not to mention dhawan who's handy with the bat. They should bowl pace at Maxwell from one end and Sunil at the other end to keep him under pressure and not get comfortable. Maxwell is pretty weak when it's quite full as we've seen , I especially remember when Taskin Ahmed bowled him out

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

if maxwell fires then kkr will loose , else kkr is having an advantage at home

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

Retaining Shakib , Uthapa and Narine next season will be very difficult for KKR, they will be worth double of this year,

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (May 26, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

All four teams are in peak form coming into play offs. Exciting four matches to look forward to. Hope the pitches assist the bowlers. We need good contest between bat and ball.

KXIP batting v KKR bowling will decide the contest tomorrow. If M&M click no stopping them. In pressure matches experience counts a lot. KXIP should play Johnson and Balaji. KKR need robin and yousuf to fire. If the two fall cheaply game over for KKR.

MI has exhausted all their energy in the last game v RR. It will be an easy win for CSK. Brendon will be back. DHussey is also in good nick. Hussey v Hussey will be good contest to watch. Nehra firing means CSK can play with all Indian attack. Smith, Brendon, Faf and Hussey, the four foreign players.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

@karan, what is the contribution of gambhir and pandey in last 6 games. ten doeschanye hasn't played many deliveries mainly thanks to uthappa who scored 7 40+scores in last 7 matches. yusuf is a slogger who scored only two 50+ runs for kkr over four seasons. shakib is good in helpful pitch conditions. Morkel is a unpredictable bowler. narine is the only reliable bowler. kkr immensely benefited by winning the toss in recent matches.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

ny more comments n team compsitions frm desperate kkr fans???

Posted by black_bird on (May 26, 2014, 12:37 GMT)

No matter how many runs are scored at first innings. Batsman at second innings will pass it without a trouble.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 12:29 GMT)

As Pijus Chawla knows the weakness of Punjab's batsmen , he should be in the playing eleven . Manish should be dropped and Shakib should bat at 3 .

Posted by homo_sapiens on (May 26, 2014, 12:22 GMT)

Though it won't be so easy, still I think KKR can do it. Home ground, crowd support and 7 win in a row ... lots of factor with KKR. Narine, Shakib and Chawla the spinning trio of this season will blow up Kings XI.

Posted by wapuser on (May 26, 2014, 12:19 GMT)

ya, of course kkr will do this. they are in tremendous form. there are many match winners like sakib, sunil narine, utthapa and y. pathan. they are self believing that they can win. best of luck kkr.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

will be very difficult to win any team. but kkr is more balace.......

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

If punjab is batting first there overseas player should be marsh,miller,bailey n johnson.and if punjab is batting second the overseas player should be maxwell,miller,bailey and johnson. Maxwell is the best player for chasing n marsh is good for giving target

Posted by Karan_cricketfan on (May 26, 2014, 12:11 GMT)

Any team will obviously not perform as well if you took their leading run scorer or wicket taker out, it's not just KKR.

Posted by Karan_cricketfan on (May 26, 2014, 12:10 GMT)

@ Srinideva, how is KKR a one man army? KKR's consistently bowled and batted well in the last few games and that's only possible through a great team performance.

Gambhir along with Uthappa have been responsible for good starts and likes of Shakib, Pathan, Manish have also contributed. And since the top order has been doing well, Tendo and Surya haven't been needed. Morkel, Shakib and Chawla have taken important wickets too.

Posted by CricketChat on (May 26, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

To me this match is only one thing, Sunil Narine Vs Kings XI hitters (Maxwell and Miller in particular). If Narine can get these two guys cheaply, KKR has better than 70% chance of winning.

Posted by Ruhel420 on (May 26, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

KKR was never favourite before starting the tournament and even after half of the season. And now they are the most favourite team! To be honest kkr got the ballance in the team.and they got players who can win their matches by their individual performance. Key players of kkr-ROBIN,NARINE & SHAKIB. These three are always consistant. Love this combination..

Posted by Robtyson on (May 26, 2014, 11:44 GMT)

KKR will win easily!! Kings XI will lose confidence after this match. It'll be KKR vs MI final and MI will win.

Posted by srinideva on (May 26, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

KKR is nothing but a one man army team. their success mainly came from the Uthappa and Narine. Gambhir is never in form. he talks big when things going his way..Toss is big factor in EDEN.

Posted by srinideva on (May 26, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

All the Best to KXIP. A CSK fan.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

Will be a good match, but there are chances of thunderstorm.... What will happen if match is washed out? Is there a reserve day? Or KXIP will go through based on points....

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

KKR batting line-up should really be - Uthappa, Gambhir, Shakib, Yusuf, Ryan...they will win this IPL tournament and do well in Champions League with this batting line-up in my opinion.

Did you know right now 3 of KKR players are in the top 10 of most valuable players? KKR certainly got their moneys worth. Good luck!!

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Karthik KrishnaswamyClose
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
Super Kings won by 7 wickets
Kings XI v KKR at Kolkata - May 27-28, 2014
KKR won by 28 runs
Mum Indians v Royals at Mumbai - May 25, 2014
Mum Indians won by 5 wickets
Kings XI v Daredevils at Mohali - May 25, 2014
Kings XI won by 7 wickets
More results »
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