For Kings XI Punjab, their mood at the start of this game will depend on what happens in the earlier match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils. They would desperately hope for Mumbai Indians to lose.
Because if Mumbai Indians win, no matter what they do in this game, Kings XI know they are out on net run rate.
But if Mumbai Indians lose, then they have a chance provided they win this match and if they surpass the net run rate of Rajasthan Royals. Currently, Kings XI have a net run rate of -0.490 and Rajasthan Royals has -0.250.
So they don’t only have to win, but win handsomely. A tough task when your opponents are Chennai Super Kings, perhaps one of the greatest teams in the history of the Indian Premier League.
Kings XI head coach Brad Hodge lamented over what went wrong this season after a great start given by Chris Gayle and KL Rahul’s explosive batting. He said in an interview, “We are a new team with a new captain and we have learnt a lot from success and failure. Realistically, our middle-order batting hasn’t fired and we are too reliant on a couple of bowlers who have kept us in the game. We haven’t had a consistency across the whole IPL, where when our match-winners haven’t fired, no one has been able to pick up the pieces.”
“We’ve tried to get to the bottom of these reasons. There are many. It might be family issues, people missing home, other aspects of life they are worried about, it could be anything that distracts the cricketer. We have explored them, tried to get to the bottom… we have tried to mix it up, tried to find the right combination to get the best out of people the best we can,” Hodge added.
The problem is only KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have done well. Yuvraj Singh and Aaron Finch have been non-existent, and Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal have been inconsistent. Their top bowler from Afghanistan, Mujeeb ur Rahman has missed out the last few games from injury, which means only 2-3 cricketers have performed for Kings XI.
Hodge admitted that he does not really expect much from this match and that the math is against his side. He said, “It is difficult. What we will be doing is patiently wait and watch over the next 24 hours to see the results of other games. We have unfortunately left ourselves in this position. But we will go about our business in the same fashion, train hard, work hard, that’s what we try to do all along and hope we get a chance tomorrow to make an impact.”
Well, we agree.
Prediction: Kings XI to bow out of the IPL with this match. Mumbai Indians to be the fourth team to qualify for the play-offs.
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Ambati Rayudu, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 5 Sam Billings, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 Shardul Thakur, 11 Lungi Ngidi
Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul (wk), 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Aaron Finch, 4 Karun Nair, 5 Yuvraj Singh/Manoj Tiwary, 6 Axar Patel, 7 Marcus Stoinis/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 Andrew Tye, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Ankit Rajpoot
Watch Chennai Super Kings play Kings XI Punjab tonight at 8 pm on Star Sports!