Kings XI Punjab are discovering what it feels like to become the dominant figure of the competition thanks to Chris Gayle’s past two masterpieces with the willow. Sitting on top of the IPL points table, we could potentially see one of the most exciting batting duals in the franchise’s history as Kolkata’s Andre Russell slogs out against the world boss for Punjab, Chris Gayle.
Kolkata Knight Riders V Kings XI Punjab – Key Battles
Sunil Narine vs Chris Gayle
The two ex-Caribbean teammates will collide with each other tomorrow as this matchup in particular could potentially make or break either side. While Sunil Narine has been the Knight Riders best bowler in IPL 11 so far claiming seven wickets, Chris Gayle’s return to the franchise in 2018 has been amazing. Scores of 63 & 104 not out asks the question why he wasn’t in Punjab’s best playing XI to start with, that matters not now as the Gayle-storm is well & truly wiping out opponents across the league! Narine would know Gayle’s strengths and weaknesses quite well, making this a mouth-watering contest between bat and ball.
Andrew Tye vs Andre Russell
A prolific ball striker that loves to go after the seam bowlers, Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell has already polished off a couple fast bowlers in the tournament late in the innings with his ability to crack balls over the fence at a ridiculous rate. Medium pacer Andrew Tye, a man whose slower balls can be the death of aggressive batsmen like Russell should make for an interesting encounter. Russell doesn’t just get them over the rope, he cracks balls roof-height as they majestically sail into the night sky, Tye has his work cut out form him in this one but certainly possesses the ability to dismiss the dangerous West Indian thanks to his wide variety of deliveries.
Chris Lynn vs Ravi Ashwin
It’s a well-known fact that Queenslander Chris Lynn struggles against spin bowling, we’ve consistently seen it throughout the BBL as well as the IPL where he’s already been dismissed three times to a spinner this season. For such a crisp ball striker, Lynn looks like a totally different batsman when playing against spin bowling. That’s where Kings XI skipper Ravi Ashwin comes into the picture, his tournament has been a bit up & down with the ball so far, but he’ll be fully aware of the importance of Chris Lynn’s wicket early in the innings. If Ashwin pushes his deliveries through slightly quicker, that’s where Chris Lynn could counterattack given he likes to work with the pace onto his bat.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Kolkata Knight Riders | 18th match | Kolkata
- Nitish Rana
- Sunil Narine
- Chris Lynn
- Andre Russell
- Kuldeep Yadav
Wildcard pick – Robin Uthappa
Top 5 fantasy picks | Kings XI Punjab | 18th match | Kolkata
- Karun Nair
- Chris Gayle
- Ravi Ashwin
- Andrew Tye
- KL Rahul
Wildcard pick – Yuvraj Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders
The fact that Mitchell Johnson has taken 1/30 in both IPL matches he’s featured in doesn’t warrant selection, and Englishman Tom Curran may be doing enough to hold his spot in the side at the moment after picking up two wickets in just two overs in Jaipur. The batting structure they’re maintaining continues to get the job done, so changes to the team will likely come from the bowling unit only. Shivam Mavi could potentially make way for Vinay Kumar who was dropped after the loss to Chennai.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI seamer Mohit Sharma has been under the pump to perform in order to keep his place in the team, what’s not helping his cause is the amount of runs he’s conceding. Sure he picked up two wickets against Hyderabad in the last match, but he also leaked 51 runs in four overs doing so. Mohit has conceded a staggering 143 runs in his past three matches, that stat alone could open the door for medium pacer Ankit Rajpoot.
Kolkata Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Sunil Narine 2. Chris Lynn 3. Robin Uthappa 4. Nitish Rana 5. Dinesh Karthik (c & wk) 6. Andre Russell 7. Shubman Gill 8. Tom Curran/Mitchell Johnson 9. Piyush Chawla 10. Shivam Mavi/Vinay Kumar 11. Kuldeep Yadav.
Kings XI Punjab (possible) – 1. KL Rahul (wk) 2. Chris Gayle 3. Mayank Agarwal 4. Aaron Finch 5. Karun Nair 6. Yuvraj Singh 7. Ravi Ashwin © 8. Andrew Tye 9. Barinder Sran 10. Mohit Sharma/Ankit Rajpoot 11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman.