Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) welcome Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to the Eden Gardens for Match 11 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. KXIP sit comfortably at the top of the IPL 10 table, after Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) slumped to a 4-wicket defeat against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Wednesday. KKR are currently in the fifth position with two points from as many games. A huge turnout for this match is expected as this will be KKR’s first home match of the season. They started off the tournament with a comfortable 10-wicket win in the first game against Gujarat Lions (GL), but then succumbed to a disappointing defeat in the second game against MI after being in a commanding position for huge portions of the match. Full Cricket Scorecard, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2017, Match 10
For KKR, there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that their fast bowler Umesh Yadav was seen training and bowling at full pace after he missed the opening games due to soreness in his hip. He could straight away be drafted into the playing XI in this match. But KKR also found out their star player Chris Lynn will miss a few games as he seems to have tweaked his shoulder and has “aggravated an old injury,” according to KKR CEO Venky Mysore.
KKR have leaked 50-plus runs in both their matches in the final four overs. That, cost them the match against MI and including a good death bowler could perhaps work for them. Trent Boult and Chris Woakes’ roles will be crucial. If you throw Umesh among them, the team looks even stronger. KKR are certainly missing their all-rounder Andre Russell, but they have roped in Colin de Grandhomme as his replacement. De Grandhomme might just be the one to replace Lynn in KKR’s batting line-up, which will mean Robin Uthappa will open the innings with Gautam Gambhir – like he has done many times in the past. Also, KKR would have been delighted to see Manish Pandey return to form after he struck a 47-ball 81 against MI.
KKR also have the option of replacing Lynn with another batsman, Darren Bravo. But the inclusion of de Grandhomme not just gives KKR a batting option, but he can also be more than handy with ball. Umesh on the other hand can be drafted into the side in place of Ankit Rajpoot, who finished with 3 for 37 in four overs against MI in the previous game.
KKR can further boost their batting with the inclusion of Ishank Jaggi, who had a good domestic season. Not to forget, Shakib Al Hasan too returns to the squad from national duty and could take his place in the side in place of Sunil Narine or could turn out to be the one to replace Lynn from the XI eventually.
KKR likely XI: Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Ishank Jaggi, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Colin de Grandhomme/Darren Bravo/Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Woakes, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Trent Boult.
KXIP have registered two comfortable victories already. They first defeated Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) by 6 wickets and then followed that up with an 8-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). It is difficult to pinpoint any weakness in the side they played in both games and do not need to make any major changes to their team. The overseas players Hashim Amla, Marcus Stoinis, David Miller and skipper Glenn Maxwell have done well as have the other Indian players in the squad. However, fast bowler Mohit Sharma has leaked 81 runs in his 8 overs in the tournament so far and the team management might be tempted to give Ishant Sharma a go in his place.
However, with Akshar Patel as the lone spin option, KXIP have the likes of KC Cariappa, Swapnil Singh and Rahul Tewatia on the bench. Ishant was acquired by KXIP after he went unsold in the IPL 2017 auctions. Swapnil did play the season opener against RPS and he could be back for this match as well.
KXIP likely XI: Hashim Amla, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Varun Aaron, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell (c), Mohit Sharma/Ishant Sharma/Swapnil Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Manan Vohra, Akshar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, T Natarajan
Head-to-head: KKR have a clear advantage over KXIP. The two teams have faced each other 19 times in IPL and KKR have won 13 of them. In fact, KKR have won the last seven matches against KXIP. The last time KXIP beat KKR was in April 2014 at Dubai. At the Eden Gardens, KKR have won six out of the eight matches between these two teams. We have to go way back to 2012 for the last time KXIP beat KKR at Eden Gardens.
Predictions: While KKR might be head and shoulders above when it comes to the overall records, one cannot deny that KXIP have enough firepower to take their team over the line. KKR were in control for most parts of the match against MI, but they leaked runs left, right and centre and as a result lost a match that they should have won. However, KKR have an experienced skipper in Gautam Gambhir and having led KKR to a couple of titles already, it could eventually come down to the way he leads his side in this match.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Manish Pandey, Sunil Narine, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Kuldeep Yadav,Shakib Al Hasan, Darren Bravo, Ishank Jaggi, Umesh Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Rajpoot, Sayan Ghosh, Ramsingh Sanjay Yadav
Kings XI Punjab: Hashim Amla, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), David Miller, Glenn Maxwell (c), Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Manan Vohra, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, T Natarajan, Swapnil Singh,Darren Sammy, Shaun Marsh, Eoin Morgan, Ishant Sharma, Martin Guptill, Anureet Singh, Varun Aaron, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Matt Henry, Nikhil Naik, Rahul Tewatia, KC Cariappa, Pardeep Sahu, Rinku Singh, Armaan Jaffer
TIME: 14.30 GMT | 20.00 IST