Tough ask for Knight Riders against Kings XI

May 2nd, 2009 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Shah Rukh Khan Port Elizabeth, May 2 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab will come out all guns blazing against bottom placed Kolkata Knight Riders at the St.George’s Park here Sunday to get back to winning ways in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Despite being robbed by rain in two matches early on in the league, Kings XI have bounced back well with three wins on the trot before being stopped by Royal Challengers Friday night.

In contrast Knight Riders are in deep trouble. Having lost five of seven matches, they are lying at the bottom of the league. Things are simply not going their way and despite coming close on the last two occasions against Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians, they had to end on the losing side.

The team management has to do some serious brainstorming to find a winning combination. Knight Riders look like a disjointed lot and skipper Brendon McCullum has done hardly anything to lead his team from the front.

Team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan has asked Knight Riders’ fans to keep faith and hoped that his boys will bounce back again.

“So let’s start from the fact that yes we have been hit already. So this is a good thing. A very good thing! We have been hit and hit hard, so the difficult part is over now. We all should accept that, we do lie at this point very nearly on the floor. So now comes the part, which is more important. The part that we need to show everyone around us, that we can take a hit; we can fall down; but we also know how to scrape ourselves from the floor and continue to fight,” Shah Rukh wrote on his blog on the team website.

Though Shah Rukh’s confidence is good news for Knight Riders but the bad news is that their top performer Chris Gayle is likely to miss the encounter. The West Indies captain, who has been in superb form with both bat and ball, will leave for England to lead his team in the first Test starting Wednesday.

But it is the form of Australian Brad Hodge and South African Morne van Wyk, which will bring back smiles to the Knight Riders camp. Both the batsmen played well against Mumbai Indians and got Knight Riders to sniffing distance of the elusive win.

In all it will need an all-round performance from the Knight Riders to get a win against Kings XI.

For Kings XI, their skipper Yuvraj Singh’s form was a worry. But Yuvraj came out with a splendid performance Friday night, picking up a hat-trick and a half-century. His efforts were not enough to save Kings XI from a defeat but will send a strong signal to other teams. Even Kings XI’s bowling looks good with both Yusuf Abdulla and Irfan Pathan troubling the batsmen.

It is definitely going to be a tough ask for Knight Riders against Kings XI.

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