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After four defeats in as many games, the bottom-ranked Deccan Chargers go head-to-head with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 29 of the DLF IPL 2012.
The Deccan Chargers haven’t looked as bad as the results indicate; they’ve been in winning positions in three of the four matches they’ve played, but haven’t quite closed them out. They will have hopefully learnt from their mistakes in those games, and do better in those critical final moments.
The formidable Kolkata Knight Riders were slow to get off the mark in IPL 2012. They lost their opening two games, but came back strongly thereafter to win three off their next four matches. Gautam Gambhir’s team now seems to have understood its best combination and its optimum batting line-up. And KKR are even making the most of the resources at their disposal.
Sunday, April 22, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
Apart from Shikhar Dhawan, there is very little in terms of class and experience among the Indian batsmen in the Deccan Chargers squad. Hence the bulk of the responsibility of scoring runs falls on the shoulders of the overseas players – Kumar Sangakkara, JP Duminy and Daniel Christian.
On the bowling front, Dale Steyn has been their best bowler – not only in terms of wickets, but also in terms of keeping the runs down.
Gautam Gambhir has been Kolkata Knight Riders’ best batsman so far, and for good reason. The KKR skipper batted at No.3 in the first two games, but when things didn’t work out, he took more responsibility and moved up the order. In four innings since that move, he’s scored 163 runs and has looked a completely different batsman.
The form of Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan should be a cause for concern for KKR. Both players are capable of winning matches singlehandedly, but have looked totally out of sorts so far in IPL 2012. How much of a long rope both players will be given by the KKR management remains to be seen.
Sunil Narine has been KKR’s star with the ball. The Trinidadian has several variations in his armory and even players from the sub-continent have failed to read him. How the inexperienced DC batsmen cope with him will certainly make for interesting viewing.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be eyeing their fifth straight win over the Deccan Chargers when the teams take the field. In the four clashes between the two teams since IPL 2010, Kolkata Knight Riders have batted first every time and have restricted DC well below the target.
Overall, KKR lead the head-to-head between the two teams 6-2. Trivia
Though they have a woeful record while playing at home, the Deccan Chargers will be buoyed by the fact that they’ve won both their matches at their adopted home ground – the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.
Both teams will be seen in action two days later (April 24) when the Kolkata Knight Riders play host to the Deccan Chargers at the Eden Gardens.
What Match 28 of DLF IPL 2012 will see the Mumbai Indians clash with Kings XI Punjab.
The Mumbai Indians have maintained a low profile since their drubbing at the hands of the Delhi Daredevils on Monday. Harbhajan Singh’s men have had five days to regroup since they were bowled out for 92, and they will want to put up a better show as they eye a quick move up the ladder.
Kings XI Punjab have blown hot and cold so far. After losing their first two matches, they recovered well to beat the Pune Warriors India convincingly at home. After that, they held their nerves in a tight contest against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Since then though, they’ve been at the receiving end against the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. KXIP face a massive task to lift themselves from the bottom half of the table; and they need to do it in a hurry, lest they will find themselves out of the title race very quickly. When
Sunday, April 22, 2011, 04:00 p.m.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, who will be under the microscope every time he takes the field, Mumbai Indians have plenty of talent in their line-up. Ambati Rayudu is among the best of the modern crop of Indian batsmen. The 26-year-old batted at the pivotal No.3 position and finished among the top two run-getters for his team in IPL 2011. However, he hasn’t quite found that form yet in IPL 2012 and has only managed 89 runs in five innings.
Look out for the explosive Kieron Pollard too; the Trinidadian showed glimpses of how destructive he can be in the match against the Rajasthan Royals when he scored his first half-century in IPL 2012. The 24-year-old’s biggest problem has been his inconsistency, and MI will hope he can deliver those big blows frequently.
Also keep an eye on Harbhajan Singh’s decision-making. The off-spinner came in for a lot of flak after the game against the Delhi Daredevils, when he chose not bowl on a spinner-friendly surface at the Wankhede Stadium. With the Mumbai Indians set to miss the services of Lasith Malinga, they need someone to raise their game. Will Harbhajan Singh be up for the challenge?
The overseas trio of Shaun Marsh, David Hussey and Azhar Mahmood are the three key players in the Kings XI Punjab line-up. Marsh has been a consistent performer for the team, while Azhar Mahmood gave glimpses of what he is capable of in the match against RCB. David Hussey has a very good track record as captain in Twenty20 cricket; however, captaining an IPL team is a different challenge altogether. How well he will be able to shoulder that responsibility – along with that of being the team’s premier batsman – remains to be seen.
Kings XI Punjab hold a slight edge in their meetings against the Mumbai Indians. The two teams have met on eight occasions and KXIP have emerged victors in five of those. In the two matches last season, both teams shared honors by winning their respective home games.
The Mumbai Indians have the lowest scoring rate of all the nine teams in IPL 2012; their overall scoring rate is 6.73 so far.
The next time both these teams will be seen in action is on April 25 when Mumbai Indians travel to Mohali for their away fixture against Kings XI Punjab.