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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 14 April 2012 - 09:58pm IST

Preview: Match 17 – KKR v KXIP

Kolkata Knight Riders face spirited Kings XI Punjab at Eden Gardens

What

The Kolkata Knight Riders will play their second home game in a row when they take on Kings XI Punjab in Match 17 of DLF IPL 2012.

Gautam Gambhir’s team was slow to get off the blocks. They lost their first two matches to the Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals. But they have since discovered their form, and have beaten the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals in their return fixture.

Kings XI Punjab’s fortunes haven’t been to dissimilar to KKR; they lost to the Rajasthan Royals and the Pune Warriors India in their first two matches, but won their home fixture against the Pune Warriors India.

When

Sunday, April 15, 2011, 04:00 p.m.


Where


Eden Gardens, Kolkata


The Protagonists


KKR’s decision to drop Brendon McCullum has meant the inclusion of Manvinder Bisla and his elevation to the top order. The 27-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has impressed in both his outings so far; he scored 46 against RCB and followed it up with a run-a-ball 29 against RR. In a competition where the turnaround time between matches is next to nothing, it is important that the men in form continue to perform. Hence KKR will be hoping that Bisla continues to score runs.

From what we have seen so far, batsmen have found it next to impossible to decipher the KKR spinner Sunil Narine. The 23-year-old came into the tournament with quite a reputation, and he has certainly shown he is something special in the two matches he’s played so far. With several tricks up his sleeve, and on a spinner-friendly surface, he could run through sides on his day.

There’s a lot of pressure on Adam Gilchrist’s shoulders. Apart from being the wicketkeeper, the Australian is captain-cum-coach of the team, and he’s also the team’s premier batsman. He, along with Shaun Marsh and David Hussey, needs to start scoring big runs if KXIP are to compete.

Previous Meetings


In seven previous meetings between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab, the former hold a slight edge with four victories. In the three matches at the Eden Gardens too, KKR hold an edge – having won twice, including in the game last season.

Trivia

The Kolkata Knight Riders have an outstanding record in run chases at the Eden Gardens; they’ve won nine matches out of 11 when they’ve had to chase.

What next?


Both teams will square off yet again on April 18 when the Kolkata Knight Riders travel to Mohali for their away fixture.

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