IPL 2013: Kings XI Punjab vs Pune Warriors – Live IPL Score
The arrival of fit-again Shaun Marsh on Saturday has lifted the spirits of the struggling batting line-up of Kings XI Punjab on the eve of their match against Pune Warriors.
Marsh has been KXIP’s most successful batsman and his presence will no doubt be a big boost to the team which has lost three of their five matches with none of the batsmen having registered a half-century as yet.
Be it the openers or the middle order, both domestic and foreign players have been struggling with the bat and if KXIP have still looked a fighting unit it has been due to their impressive bowling.
It is difficult to say if Marsh will plunge into action straight away or will be eased into the team gradually. But with the batting needing a desperate and immediate boost, Marsh should be in the XI on the morrow, provided he has recovered from jetlag after a long-haul flight from Perth.
KXIP coach Darren Lehmann conceded that the form of the batsmen has been a big concern and the time was ripe for them to hit the straps.
“These are still early days in the league and I am optimistic that the batsmen will finally click big-time. Both Gilly ( Adam Gilchrist) and David Hussey have shown signs of revival, and with Shaun Marsh joining us, things are bound to look up,” Lehmann said.
With 1603 runs, Marsh is by far the team’s best batsman. He has a century and the most number of fifties (13). He has also one of the highest strike-rates in the team.
So the think-tank would like to get him into the middle at the earliest and hope that he will inspire the other batsmen to lift their game.
If KXIP are boosted by the presence of Marsh, Pune Warriors are hopeful that their star batsman Yuvraj Singh has recovered sufficiently to take the field against his former franchise on his home ground. Though Yuvraj now lives in Delhi, the fans here still love to watch him play and would be disappointed if he sits out.
Yuvraj last played at the venue against England in the fourth ODI in January in which he could make only three runs. So he would be equally eager to step on the field and regale the Sunday crowd in his home town.