The Kings XI Punjab, currently on top of the league standings with 18 points, face a problem they will hope to address before the playoffs begin. Glenn Maxwell, their middle-order marauder, hasn’t been able to really light up their innings during his last five matches.
Maxwell, who was imperious earlier in the IPL season and had 435 runs after his first seven matches, has laboured for a total of 98 runs in his last five matches. So what ails Maxwell?
The Australian has been cleaned up by leg-spinners in this period. Starting with Bangalore’s Yuzhvendra Chahal, Maxwell has fallen to Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Amit Mishra and Shreyas Gopal.
Punjab have not suffered much during this period due to the strength of their middle order and lately, their local players who have come good for them. David Miller has been Maxwell’s partner in crime, scoring 323 runs this season. The Kings XI have also been able to count on Manan Vohra and Sandeep Sharma, who have turned in consistent performances of late.
To add to their batting strength, Shaun Marsh, who has been a part of the the Kings XI through all seven editions of the IPL, finally got a game against Mumbai in their last match and showed no signs of rust with a 17-ball 30.
TAMBE THE TRUMP?
The Rajasthan Royals, currently on 14 points, will look to seal their position in the playoffs after losing their last match to the Mumbai Indians. Karun Nair has been a revelation for the Royals at the top of batting order while Ajinkya Rahane has also impressed with his form.
Though leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, their highest wicket-taker this season with 15, recently lost his spot in the playing eleven, the Royals will have noticed Maxwell’s weakness and will look to unleash him and their other leggie Ankit Sharma on their opponents’ trump-card.
With Maxwell looking to return to his best form and facing a double dose of what has turned out to be his kryptonite, tomorrow’s match will see one team assured of its position in this season’s IPL.
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