Chandigarh: Kings XI Punjab will have only one name on their mind as they take on the field today, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
In today’s match Kings XI Punjab are placed eight just below their today’s rival, Mumbai Indians. The Kings XI Punjab team has won three of the eight games, while Mumbai Indians team has won three of their six games. Both the teams, with six points occupy the lower half of the points table.
Both the teams started as one of the tournament favorites. But predictions were never the characteristics of this format of cricket. Twenty-20 is about delivering, delivering when it matters the most.
That’s what these two teams need to have in mind, when they take the field, today evening.
Kings XI Punjab team, has won only one match (their Inaugural match against Pune Warriors India) played on their home ground. On the other hand Mumbai Indians team has yet to register a win on PCA stadium Chandigarh.
In their last stand-off on 22nd March, Kings XI Punjab defeated the Harbhajan led side on their home ground. Asked, if that is a psychological advantage? Adam Gilchrist says-“Does it? I didn’t realize that. I did not take it up in the team meeting.” Adam Gilchrist said in a lighter vein.
The captain, coach, wicketkeeper, batsman, mentor of the Kings XI Punjab team, Adam Gilchrist missed the last match against Mumbai Indians due to injury. His presence in today’s match is also doubtful as he has not recovered fully.
Any school teacher would be proud to have a student like Adam Gilchrist. He has not missed a single match in the last 16 years. Talk of hundred percent attendance… that is one record certain cricketer would find hard to beat.
David Hussey would be leading the side in the absence of Adam Gilchrist. Shaun March was instrumental in the win against Mumbai Indians in their last win against Kings XI Punjab. Shaun Marsh scored a quick fire fifty to take Kings XI Punjab team to a comfortable win. He was the main feature of Kings XI Punjab’s two of the three wins in this edition of Indian Premier League.
Speaking in a pre-match conference Adam Gilchrist said-“Mumbai is a dangerous side. They are an all-round side with quality players and star-studded line-up. They will be at their full strength with Tendulkar back into the side.”
"I am not sure," he replied when asked how long he thinks he will take to get back to action. Gilchrist praised the young domestic players of his team including wicketkeeper-batsmen Nitin Saini and Mandeep Singh and medium pacer Parvinder Awana, saying he is impressed with their performance and now it was up to them to carry it forward. "I am impressed with his mindset," he said about Saini and about Awana, he said, "He is an exciting prospect though I am not sure he understands all the words I say (referring to language problem)."
Azhar Mahmood, who made a blistering entry in this season of the IPL, could well be the trump card for the Kings XI Punjab team.
Injuries have haunted the Mumbai Indians team as well. Their star bowler Lasith Malinga is out of the playing XI due to back spasm. Though there is considerable depth in Mumbai Indians bowling camp- Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh. Malinga’s sling shot adds value and fear to the Mumbai Indian bowling line-up and in the minds of the opponent, respectively.
The Mumbai Indians batting has looked obscure so far. Rohit Sharma has not fired with the bat except their match against Deccan Chargers. Kieron Pollard has made up for the batting failure by taking wickets.
That Mumbai's best batsman James Franklin is in the 16th position among the overall top run-getters of the tournament speaks about the inconsistency of the side's batting.
Sachin Tendulkar, who celebrated his 39th birthday would be the main concern of the Priety Zinta’s Kings XI Punjab. Recalling his 25th birthday performance in Sharjah against Aussie team; Adam Gilchrist said -"I get a bit of a cold shiver. Luckily, his birthday is not tomorrow."
Adam Gilchrist says he has a game plan to tackle the master blaster. It would take more than a plan to tackle the might of master blaster.
Abu Nechim, Aiden Blizzard, Ali Murtaza, Ambati Rayudu, Andrew Symonds, Davy Jacobs, Dhawal Kulkarni, Harbhajan Singh, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Munaf Patel, Rajagopal Sathish, Ray Price, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Sarul Kanwar, Suryakumar Yadav, Tirumalasetti Suman, Yuzvendra Chahal
Kings XI Punjab:
Abhishek Nayar, Adam Gilchrist, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, David Hussey, Dinesh Karthik, Karan Goel, Love Ablish, Mandeep Singh, Nathan Rimmington, Paul Valthaty, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Ryan Harris, Ryan McLaren, Shalabh Srivastava, Shaun Marsh, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh, Vikramjeet Malik
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