Punjab bowlers will need to show more discipline
Defeat would still leave KXIP in contention, but the situation then spins out of their control and depends on how others teams fare.
For KXIP, a win is of utmost important as they can get into the playoffs without bothering about Net Run Rate etc.
Defeat would still leave them in contention, but the situation then spins out of their control and depends on how others teams fare.
KXIP’s delicate current situation stems from the stunning defeat they suffered at the hands of Rajasthan Royals the other night.
Chris Gayle, K L Rahul, with support from other batters, helped take the score to a sizable 185, but Punjab’s bowling wilted under the assault from Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson.
After five wins on the trot, this was a major setback, and rekindled memories of how the team struggled in the early weeks of the tournament, losing matches from winning situations.
There is not much scope for changes in the playing XI as the present combination has done extremely well in the recent past. Knee-jerk reactions could only hurt morale and upset the rhythm of the side.
But skipper Rahul will have to demand greater discipline from the bowlers. Against Rajasthan, barring young Ravi Bishnoi, all other bowlers went for plenty, losing their nerve and control against Stokes and Samson.
CSK have no stakes remaining in the tournament itself. But there is always pride to play for, and as seen in the previous two matches, Dhoni’s struggling side raised its performances to win both.
Under no pressure, CSK can be dangerous and mess up KXIP’s progress. Incidentally, when the teams met earlier this season, CSK had thrashed KXIP by 10 wickets.
Ayaz Memon is an Indian sports writer and commentator
Players To Watch Out For:
K L Rahul, Chris Gayle (KXIP), Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja (CSK)
X Factor: Glen Maxwell (KXIP)
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