Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

IPL 7 preview: KKR’s lucky ‘7’

KKR will battle it out with KXIP in their play-off clash at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Source: IPL/BCCI) The performances of Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa have lifted the morale of Kolkata Knight Riders, who would look to seal a victory against Kings XI Punjab in the first play-off of this season. (Source: IPL/BCCI)
Written by Ankit Sinha | New Delhi | Posted: May 27, 2014 2:54 pm | Updated: May 27, 2014 5:11 pm

are no where to be found, but Uthappa is still able to score runs at a brisk pace.

This year, Uthappa has shone for Kolkata Knight Riders, scoring 613 runs from 14 games. He is in fact the highest run-scorer in the ongoing edition, followed by Chennai Super Kings’s Dwayne Smith (535 runs) and Kings XI Punjab’s Glen Maxwell (533 runs).

The weak chords

Manish Pandey: The first Indian batsman to score a century in the IPL, Manish Pandey hasn’t quite lived up to his expectations in the ongoing edition. Scores of 2, 13, 18*, 35 and 14 in his last five outings don’t make an impressive reading.

Overall, the 24-year-old player from Uttaranchal has scored 286 runs from 14 matches at a modest average of 26.

Vinay Kumar: The 30-year-old medium pacer from Karnataka does not have the threatening pace and bounce of team-mate Morne Morkel, but he is considered valuable for his ability to swing the ball from good areas.

The former Royal Challengers Bangalore seamer was purchased by Kolkata Knight Riders to strengthen their bowling arsenal; however, his performance in the current season has been far from satisfactory.

In the 9 matches he has played for the Kolkata franchise, Kumar has taken 7 wickets with an expensive economy rate of 8.72. His best bowling figures in the tournament, 2/26, came against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah. While he extracted decent purchase from the wickets in the UAE, he has struggled to contain the flow of runs in India.

MorneMorkelM

Surprise package

Shakib Al Hasan: The useful all-rounder has had a string of impressive performances in the ongoing IPL season. Along with team-mate Sunil Narine, Shakib has the best economy rate (6.30) in the current season. He has also scored 197 runs from 11 matches at an impressive average of 39.40 with one half-century.

Morne Morkel: If there is one bowler in KKR’s arsenal who could threaten Punjab’s rampaging batting trio of Maxwell, Miller and Bailey, it is Morne Morkel.

The tall South African pacer has had an indifferent tournament thus far, but his threatening pace and bounce can hardly be ignored as a potential match-winning factor. Morne has taken 10 wickets from 10 games at an economy rate of 7.60 in the ongoing tournament.

He went for quite a few runs in his last five outings, but Gautam Gambhir can still seek redemption with his menacing ability to threaten the confidence of batting sides. After all, no batsman – however good he may be – likes to face deliveries that are sent straight down his throat at a pace of 145-plus kmph. This ability makes him a big surprise element in Kolkata Knight Riders’ crucial play-off game against Kings XI Punjab.

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