IPL 2014 Preview: Can the Kolkata Knight Riders overcome the mighty Kings XI Punjab batting?

Kings XI Punjab, who has by far been the best team this season, will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack, in the first game of the double header this Sunday. Kings XI have just lost a single game this season and their batting has been attracting new fans and admirers all over the world. Kolkata on the other hand has had a mixed campaign so far this year. They got off to a very dismal start but off late it seems like everything is falling in place for them. The match most probably depend on the result of the competition between the Kings XI batting and Knight Riders bowling.

Kings XI Punjab

X Factor: Punjab’s batting has been extra ordinary this season. The duo of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller has done wonders for them. They don’t seem to care about who is bowling and which team they are playing against. They have given a new definition to the art of T20 batting, that being the ball is meant to be hit and if it’s in your arc you should go for your shot.

Watch Out For: Glenn Maxwell, Sandeep Sharma.

Glenn Maxwell; the top run getter this season, the top six hitter this season, the player with the highest strike rate, the MVP, those are some of the few reasons why you should look out for “ the Big Show”. Sandeep Sharma is among the highest wicket taker this season and has carried the responsibility of the bowling on his shoulder given the fact that Mitchell Johnson is not at his usual best.

Weak Point: You still feel that they haven’t yet found the right partner for Virendra Sehwag at the top of the batting order. Sehwag has been getting starts but there has been no support at the other ends for him which kind off builds the pressure on him. It’s about time that the Team drops Mitchell Johnson and gives a chance to Shaun Marsh, as anyways Johnson has been going at 9 runs per over every second game.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

X Factor: The Knight riders have arguably the best bowler in T20 cricket in their line up in the form of Sunil Narine. Sunil Narine has been consistently at the top of his game and has picked up important wickets almost every game. His bowling can play the make or break role for the knight riders as well as the Kings XI.

Watch Out For: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Utthapa.

Gautam Gambhir has now played two games in which he has scored half centuries in a row and has taken his team to the verge of victory every time. His form was the matter of concern for the Knight Riders and his return in form will mean a lot to the team. His partner Robin Utthapa has also played a god role for the Knight Riders as far as batting is concerned. The two of them have shared century partnerships for two games on the trot and their partnership will once again play the key role for the Knight Riders Batting.

Weak Point: What started off as their Strength has become their point of concern at the half way mark of the tournament. The middle order failed miserably against Rajasthan Royals and they would want that it would prove to be just a one off thing for them. They will be cautious about that factor of their game going in to the match and would want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.