Mohali, April 18: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) would want to secure their second win on the trot when they host Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL 9) game here on Tuesday (April 19).
However, it will not be easy to topple the men in purple who dominated Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last encounter. KKR won the game quite convincingly with Gautam Gambhir contributing an unbeaten 90 in their quest for a total of 142/7.
Prior to that, KKR had lost against Mumbai Indians narrowly and in their opener they had overwhelmed Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens.
The Kings themselves did not have a kingly start to their campaign as they came out second best in their first two games. At the start, they lost to Gujarat Lions by five wickets and then were beaten by Delhi Daredevils by eight wickets.
However, on Sunday, Punjab stunned Mahendra Singh Dhoni led Pune Rising Supergiants by six wickets. The win would immensely boost their confidence ahead of the KKR tie.
The Mohali track is supposedly flat and is likely to assist the batters. The game is likely to be a high scoring one and Punjab would once again want their top order to fire.
In their last game, openers Manan Vohra and Murali Vijay knit a 97-run partnership to set up the chase. Glenn Maxwell has also found form but captain David Miller and Shaun Marsh need to pull their socks up.
The bowling lineup is a bit inexperienced with Sandeep Sharma and Kyle Abbott leading the pace attack and they have leaked a lot of runs so far. KKR would want to capitalise on this weakness.
For the Knights it will be about their bowling who have managed to keep a tight leash on the opposition batsmen in two of the three matches played.
The batting looks good too with Gambhir and Robin Uthappa in form upfront. Manish Pandey has some runs under his belt also but the likes of Yusuf Pathan, in the middle order, need to improve.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), Sheldon Jackson, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Brad Hogg, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Shakib Al Hasan, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, John Hastings, Jason Holder, Colin Munro, Rajgopal Sathish, Manan Ajay Sharma.
Kings XI Punjab: David Miller (captain), Kyle Abbott, Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Anureet Singh, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Pardeep Sahu, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Farhaan Behardien, KC Cariappa, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Nikhil Naik, Shardul Thakur.
Match starts 8 PM IST