Kolkata Knight Riders face the daunting task of stopping the marauding pair of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller in its tracks when they clash with Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match here on Saturday. (Full IPL schedule)
Maxwell has been in supreme touch since the start of the league, having trampled the rival bowling attacks with utter disdain. The Australian batsman literally toys with the bowlers as he hits them out of the park at will. With 279 runs at an incredible average of 93, Maxwell has hit an astonishing 17 sixes and 28 fours in three matches so far in an amazing display of power-hitting. (Full IPL coverage)
It will be interesting to see if Maxwell can bat the same way against wily spinner Sunil Narine, who has bamboozled even the good batsmen and has been economical at the same time. (Points Table)
KKR have also been blessed with the talent and experience of veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis in the side. They will surely look up to the South African legend to produce something magical to dismiss Maxwell early. (Punjab's Aussie connection)
However, before contending with Maxwell, Kolkata Knight Riders also have to deal with Virender Sehwag, who is rediscovering himself gradually. With a 30-run knock in his last match, Sehwag is gradually getting back his rhythm and even if KKR bowlers succeed in getting rid of both Sehwag and Maxwell, they have the explosive South African David Miller to deal with.
Miller has hit two half-centuries so far and led his side to a superb win against Rajasthan Royals with a blistering unbeaten 19-ball 51. In the middle-order, Miller has been a force to reckon with. Like, Maxwell, he too is striking the ball effortlessly.
For KKR, the form of skipper Gautam Gambhir is a big worry as the left-hander has not scored a single run. Three consecutive ducks was not something his side had expected of the leader of the pack and he would under pressure to come up with something better. (Gambhir's hattrick of ducks)
It's time that Gambhir makes amends and performs.
Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey (C), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Virender Sehwag, Mitchell Johnson, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhaman Saha, Thisara Perera, Glenn Maxwell, Rishi Dhawan, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Akshar Patel, Beuran Hendricks, Karanveer Singh, Murali Kartik, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur, L Balaji, Parvinder Awana, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mandeep Singh.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Manish Pandey, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, SS Mandal, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Suryakumar Yadav, Manvinder Bisla, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kuldeep Yadav.