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IPL 2020: Kings XI can't rest on their laurels

Ayaz Memon
Filed on October 24, 2020 | Last updated on October 24, 2020 at 01.10 am
Chris Gayle of Kings XI Punjab. (IPL)

(RITURNG)

What’s obviously helped Punjab is the inclusion of Chris Gayle

Having won three matches on the trot — including the double Super Over humdinger against Mumbai Indians — Kings XI Punjab are soaring high on confidence.


This sequence of wins was important to ensure that they remained in the race, but perhaps more important is how KXIP won these matches.


Unlike in earlier matches, they did not succumb under acute pressure, and in fact clinched the third victory with a big show of strength to suggest that they could make it to the play-offs.


What’s obviously helped Punjab is the inclusion of Chris Gayle. The flamboyant West Indian has been able to turn the clock back and has played some sizzling knocks.


Nicholas Pooran has also played some sparkling knocks, if somewhat inconsistently, which makes Punjab’s top order hefty considering the form KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have been in.


The bowling, spearheaded by Mohammed Shami who has looked sharp and penetrative, has also come into its own, which makes Punjab a very good all round side going into this match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.


After stumbling against KKR, SRH have forced their way back into the reckoning with an impressive win over Rajasthan Royals.


With Kane Williamson not playing, and David Warner and Jonny Bairstow both falling cheaply, it appeared SRH might stumble even in the modest run chase.


But Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar took their team home in a fantastic partnership that may have forced the Punjab think-tank to do a rethink of tactics.


Rashid Khan continues to bowl marvelously, and the SRH attack got a boost with the form shown by Jason Holder who replaced the injured Williamson in the previous game.


Incidentally, when the two teams played each other earlier this season, SRH were the winners, so KXIP can’t rest on their current laurels.





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