IPL 9 Preview - Match 28 - GL vs KXIP.

There are to many ways to look at this match.
  1. Gujarat Lions vs Kings XI Punjab.
  2. No. 1 team vs No. 8 team.
  3. Loftiest vs Rock bottom.
Gujarat Lions might have some things to ponder about. But winning isn't one. With six wins in seven matches, the team is at the top of the points table. The openers, be it Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum or Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, have laid foundations on which not only the batsmen but the bowlers thrive as well. Runs are coming in gobs but what makes the difference is the speed which they are coming. Smith (168.18) and McCullum (160.29) are among the batsmen with highest strike rate in the tournament. The skipper, Suresh Raina, has chipped in with vital innings when his team required them the most. He is yet to reach his best and if that happens, the bowlers from Punjab will have a tough time.
Dinesh Karthik has yet again proved that he is as good as in front of the stumps as he is behind them. In Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and James Faulkner, they possibly have all kinds of all-rounders present. If one leaks runs or fails with the bat, the others step up which is another essential key to their success.
They might well replace Ishan Kishan with Eklavya Dwivedi or Paras Dogra. Not because the latter is not good enough, but because his style of batting does not suit No. 6 or 7. In Parveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni, they have two genuine swing bowlers who have it in them to take early wickets. Shivil Kaushik might well make way for Pravin Tambe (if fit) or Shadab Jakati.
Kings XI Punjab: 6 matches. 4 defeats. Captain sacked. Batting misfiring. You name a problem and they have it.
The topmost news for their fans would be termination of David Miller as the skipper. The management could not find a captain in Miller. Subsequently, lost the batsman in him as well. And now, Murli Vijay has been given the responsibility. He himself will be under the scanner considering the fact that his personal batting form has not been up to the mark. The biggest worry for them has been the naked truth that their assets have turned into liabilities. You include a player because of his performance and not because of his reputation. The second case might just be happening with them.
Murli Vijay has been named the captain of Kings XI.

Miller has scored 76 runs in six matches at an average of 15.20. Glenn Maxwell has 95 runs under his belt in as many matches at an average of 19.00 but out of them, 56 came in the last match in a losing cause. Both of them will have to come good in the big match tomorrow against a big team. Farhaan Behardien might well be included if the management thinks that they have given the duo enough chances.
In the bowling department, Sandeep Sharma is the only bowler who has given runs under 7 runs per over. The likes of Mitchell Johnson, Kyle Abbott and Axar Patel have all let their team down. The think tank can include one out of Anureet Singh and Shardul Thakur, both of them have done well in the domestic circuit. Gurkeerat Singh Mann would also consider himself unlucky for not getting a game until now.
Kings XI will have to win this match in order to qualify for the play-offs. The road to play-offs after another loss might just be next to impossible. Shaun Marsh has been among the runs so far. The team would expect him to fire yet again.


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