KXIP v KKR: IPL 7 Semifinals Preview
The stage has been set for the first semifinals of IPL 7. KXIP the most consistent team of this season will take on the toughest team KKR.
KXIP has been the strongest team of the season due to their exceptional batting lineup, especially Glenn Maxwell. Kolkata Knight Riders lost their way till the first half of the tournament. They managed only two wins from first seven matches. But they bounced back a record seven-match winning streak and reached to playoffs.
Most of the people think that KXIP has a better chance to win. But the momentum of KKR will tell you a different story. It would be a tough challenge for KXIP to face KKR on their home ground Eden Gardens. Both the teams are two wins away from the trophy. The winning team of the match will play the finals. The losing team has to win the second qualifier to play the final.
KKR is on a roll right now. Yusuf Pathan`s power hitting 72 off 22 balls rocketed them up to second spot. He has shown how dangerous he can be by hitting Dale Steyn for 26 runs in an over. Yusuf will be the same kind of threat in the lineup of KKR, like Maxwell being for KXIP. The contest is going to be a run fest.
There are chances for rain on 27th. But there is a reserve day on 28th. Both teams would want a result as soon as possible. Overcast conditions are going to help the pacers. The slow bowlers could play a crucial role. KKR has an extra edge with mystery spinner Sunil Narine owning the Purple Cap. They also have a decent left-armer Shakib Al Hasan.
Maxwell got dismissed by leg-spinners six times in this IPL. Narine and Shakib will want to exploit this weakness. Maxwell has not performed for some time. But KXIP has a strong middle-order. David Miller, Manan Vohra, skipper Bailey and Wriddhiman Saha is good enough for any bowling attack. The main concern for KXIP is their spin bowling. Akshar Patel is not a threat. It would be interesting if they bring in Murali Kartik back. With Mitchell Johnson pace department is performing well for KXIP. Pacers took the most 62 wickets but their spinners have the fewest 24. The key for KXIP would be to make a big score and test KKR’s batting lineup with their pace attack.
KKR appear a more balanced side of the two both in batting and bowling. KKR would love to have the home crowd behind them. Robin Uthappa has the Orange Cap with 613 runs. He and Gautam Gambhir (311 runs) has been successfully giving the team fine starts. Then Shakib, Ryan ten Doeschate and Yusuf fire up in the middle-order. This combo has been the reason behind the success story of KKR.
Gautam Gambhir (captain), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, R Vinay Kumar, Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Chris Lynn, R Vinay Kumar, Manvinder Bisla, Debabrata Das, Kuldeep Yadav, Sayan Mondal and Veer Pratap Singh.
George Bailey (captain), Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Akshar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Rishi Dhawan, Karanveer Singh, Parvinder Awana, Beuran Hendricks, Shaun Marsh, Thisara Perera, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Murali Kartik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sandeep Singh, Anureet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mandeep Singh, Shivam Sharma and Shradul Thakur.