Kolkata Knight Riders would look to snap their three-match losing streak by exploiting the chinks in the armoury of a struggling Kings XI Punjab when the two sides clash in an Indian Premier League match in Mohali on Saturday.
Sourav Ganguly-led KKR began their campaign with two upset victories against defending champions Deccan Chargers and last edition runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore before losing their next three ties.
Though the bowlers have done a reasonable job so far, it is the batting which the KKR needs to prop up to fancy chances against Kings XI, who have managed just one win from their five outings, and that too via a one-over eliminator against Chennai Super Kings.
KKR would be hoping that their star batsman Chris Gayle, who hit a stroke-filled 60-ball 75 in his first IPL III appearance against Mumbai Indians on March 22, would once again come good on Saturday.
Gayle’s fast off-breaks, with which he often restricts the batsmen, are also a bonus for his side. KKR would be hoping that captain Ganguly, too, contributes in a big way to post a big total at the PCA
In the bowling department, left-arm spinner Murali Kartik has been the most consistent while New Zealand pacer Shane Bond has also done a decent job so far. Pacer Ishant Sharma though has been expensive.
For Kings XI, nothing seemed to be going right and they are now languishing at the bottom of the points table.
Batting has let the team down most of the time while bowlers too have struggled to contain the opposition.
Barring one 40-plus knock, batting mainstay Yuvraj Singh has flopped while captain Kumar Sangakkara has failed to make any mark so far.
Englishman Ravi Bopara has had a couple of big knocks to his credit, but on a couple of occasions he has consumed more deliveries than necessary in this slam-bang format.
Mahela Jayawardene also has not had a good run and the team would be now looking desperately to include Australian Shaun Marsh, who has joined the side but was not included in the last game.
In the bowling department, pacers Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth have failed to impress and had it not been for little-known South African pacer Juan Theron, Kings XI would have lost against CSK in the one-over eliminator.
Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, who was carrying a niggle on his elbow, is also uncertain for Saturday’s match.