Cricket

KKR looking to keep up winning momentum

WARMING UP FOR BATTLE: The Kings XI players at their training session at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

WARMING UP FOR BATTLE: The Kings XI players at their training session at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.  

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Coming off a well carved out victory against Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to seal another game — this time against Kings XI Punjab in an IPL 5 match at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

The host's dramatic recovery to win the last two games, after tasting defeats in the first two, should give the side the required momentum to go for the kill. The Punjab team's victory against Pune Warriors India in the last game at home, should boost the team's morale.

With the seasoned Aussie Adam Gilchrist at the helm to guide the boys, it needs to come up with another inspiring game to get back the confidence. Low on star value in comparison to the Knight Riders, Kings XI will heavily depend on two of its players, David Hussey and Shaun Marsh, who incidentally got among the runs in the last game.

Top-order problems

The team's problem at the top of the order was also very pronounced. Paul Valthaty, the team's explosive opener, has not been among the runs. But Gilchrist will hope that the Mumbai-based opener will come good soon.

“We are trying to keep backing him. We are just trying to encourage him, to keep him relaxed. He has got to trust his abilities so that he does not lose his talent,” he said.

Among the bowlers, Harmeet Singh has really impressed for Kings XI. He has bowled well so far with good variation and change of pace, and the team will be depending on him for early breakthroughs.

Others in the fray are Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Dimitri Mascarenhas, who got a five-for in the last game.

Good position

Knight Riders are in a good position going into this game. The team has enough talent and experience to take on a struggling side like Kings XI Punjab.

The team will again be looking at captain Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis to deliver at the top. It has a good middle-order. The only worry is Yusuf Pathan's woeful form.

Considering the team's relative strengths and weaknesses, it looks like the home side will call the shots.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 6:28:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/kkr-looking-to-keep-up-winning-momentum/article3315427.ece

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