IPL 2020 Match 24 Preview: KXIP vs KKR - Welcoming Gayle, Punjab run into Kolkata's versatile bowling attack
What began as unfortunate has turned into a fully fledged tailspin for Kings XI Punjab. The team should have won all of their first three matches but sits at the bottom of the points table with just one victory after six games.
Too much chopping and changing has not helped Punjab either. It was at least their top order which was looking settled to begin with. However, even that is not the case anymore.
Welcome back the Universe Boss
Chris Gayle would have been part of the Punjab playing XI in the last match but could not make it due to sickness. He will slot at the top of the order alongside KL Rahul for the match against Kolkata, with Mayank Agrawal slipping down one notch to number three.
Gayle's inclusion will mean that Glenn Maxwell, who has not been able to make any contribution in the tournament, will have to sit out. With Nicholas Pooran in their middle order, Punjab should do well if they get off to a decent start.
Wicket-keeper batsman Simran Singh showed in his short stay at the crease in the last game that he is capable of tonking the ball. Mandeep Singh, too, is a good player in the middle order. Punjab's batting still remains weak.
Shami and Bishnoi search for support
Punjab will consider bringing in Chris Jordan in place of Sheldon Cottrell, who will be a good option to bat at number seven. Ravi Bishnoi and Mohammad Shami have been doing a fine job for Punjab but they need support from other bowlers.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman was ineffective in his first game of the tournament but needs at least two more matches to get into his rhythm. Arshdeep Singh did a fine job for Punjab in the last game, finishing with figures of 4-0-33-2. As KL Rahul said in the post-match press conference in the last game, it is only a matter of time before under 19 fame medium pacer Ishan Porel gets his IPL cap.
KKR finding their feet
Kolkata Knight Riders made a truckload of errors in their last match against Chennai Super Kings but still managed to win the game by 10 runs.
They have rejigged their batting order with Rahul Tripathi opening the batting alongside Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik batting at number 6 or 7.
Kolkata's stellar bowling
It is their bowling which is their strong suit with Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine making it difficult for the opposition batsmen to find the boundary. With Indian pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi assisting Pat Cummins and Andre Russell, Kolkata boast of a versatile bowling attack.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): KL Rahul(c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Simran Singh(wk), Glenn Maxwell, Ravi Bishnoi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik(c & wk), Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy
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