After 45 days of fierce competition and heart stopping entertainment, we finally know the two teams that will face each other in the Finals of the IPL season 2014. Kings XI Punjab, the most entertaining and consistent team in the Tournament will take on the Kolkata Knight riders in the final on Sunday and it won’t be unfair to expect a match that can be remembered for Ages by the supporters of both the teams. Kolkata Knight Riders have won 8 matches in a row to reach the Finals and that includes twin victories over the Kings XI team itself. Kings XI suffered a defeat at the hands of the Knight Riders in qualifier 1 and would be keen on taking revenge of their embarrassing loss.
Kings XI Punjab
X Factor: Punjab’s fearless approach to the game and never give up attitude has brought them this far in the tournament, and after Virender Sehwag’s century in the previous game their already daunting batting line up now looks almost invincible. The X Factor though will be how well the batting handles the bowling of Sunil Narine, a bowler who can single handedly change the course of a game. Given the fact that Chinnaswamy has been traditionally known for its batting friendly wickets, Narine would prove to be an important factor for both the team’s success.
Watch Out For: Akshar Patel, Glenn Maxwell.
Akshar Patel alone has been the saving grace in the bowling department for the Kings XI. He has been consistent, picked up wickets and has been economical with the ball at the same time. He has been an all rounder in the true sense and has been rightly rewarded by the National Selectors. Glenn Maxwell has been underperforming since the past few games but you get a feeling that this is the Quiet period before the storm and it might just strike the Knight riders in the finals.
Weak Point: Bowling nearly cost the Kings XI team the match in the Qualifiers. They conceded 100 runs in the power play and even after scoring 226 runs it seemed that they might just end up on the losing side. If they need to perform well and win their first IPL trophy, Bowling is one department where they need to improve or else we might just witness the same story again.
Kolkata Knight Riders
X Factor: Kolkata Knight Riders have unarguably the best bowling line up any T20 team will ask for. Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Morne Morkel are the front line bowlers ably supported by Piyush Chawla and Umesh Yadav. They have got the better of the Kings XI Batting in 3 matches and would look to repeat that performance again.
Watch Out For: Robin Utthapa, Sunil Narine.
Robin Utthapa has been in the form of his Life while Sunil Narine has always been a threat in the shortest format. Punjab need to take the wicket of Utthapa early, who has now scored a score of 40+ in his previous 10 innings, a T20 record. Sunil Narine is the second on the list of highest Wicket Taker this series and needs to pick 2 more wickets to make sure that the Purple cap ends up on his tead for the first time in the IPL, after missing it on the previous 2 occasions.
Weak Point: The middle order still looks rather shady. They have delivered some memorable performances this season, but then u are always reminded of their 2/6 performance against the Royals, something that reminds you about the fact that they can be brittle under pressure if the Opposition provides the right amount of force.