Kings XI Punjab, who emerged as strong contenders for a place in the IPL 2020 playoffs with four consecutive wins, will look to continue their charismatic performance against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. Kings XI have 10 points from five wins in 11 matches and are in fifth place while KKR has 12 points and are in fourth place.
Punjab will be in the top four with one win, while KKR will get 14 points if they win and it will also strengthen their chances of reaching the playoffs. The playoff race is now very tight and both teams today understand the importance of victory well. Kings XI's team is in excellent form. He defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore after losing five consecutive matches and then defeated the top two teams Mumbai and Delhi Capitals. He successfully defended his small score against Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, to reach the playoffs, Kings XI will have to win the remaining three matches.
Weakness became strength
Bowling was the weak side of Kings XI. Barring Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi, none of his bowlers did particularly well in the death overs. But on Saturday, when the batsmen failed, the bowlers showed excellent game and they defended 126 runs with five wickets in the last two overs.
Gayle is proving lucky
Punjab has two good in-form batsmen in the form of captain Lokesh Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Chris Gayle's presence has boosted the team's enthusiasm. Since Gayle has been included in the team, he has not lost a single match. Nicholas Pooran has also emerged as a dangerous batsman but Glenn Maxwell's form is still a concern for the team. Aggarwal missed the match against the Sunrisers due to a knee injury but is expected to play against KKR.
KKR excited by Rana's form
KKR's team is also enthused by the win against a strong Delhi Capitals team and will be desperate to sustain the victory campaign. After an eight-wicket defeat against Bangalore, KKR performed well and defeated Delhi by 59 runs. At the opening, Nitish Rana hit an innings of 81 runs and shared a 115-run partnership with Sunil Narine (64). After this, leg-spinner Varun Chakraborty took five wickets. If KKR is to continue their winning campaign then their batsmen will have to perform well. KKR's bowling has strengthened after the arrival of Lockie Ferguson.
The teams are
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Eoin Morgan (captain), Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Sunil Naren, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakraborty, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, Famous Krishna.
Kings XI Punjab:
Lokesh Rahul (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Arshadip Singh.