Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will go head to head with Chennai Super Kings in the 53rd match of IPL 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday afternoon. Both teams will be playing their last league match. KXIP are looking to go through to the playoffs, while CSK would want to end on a high.
Punjab was snapped of their five-match winning streak by Rajasthan Royals. However, Kings XI, Punjab won’t be much fazed away with that loss as they have played some magnificent cricket in the past 16 days. Not only a victory but if Sunrisers Hyderabad manages to climb to 14 points, Punjab will need a victory with big margin against CSK.
IPL 2020, Match 53: Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings- KXIP Predicted XI
Kl Rahul has led Punjab from the front with his bat. He is the current holder of the orange cap. The Punjab skipper has scored 641 runs at an average of 58. However, Rahul has face criticism for his low strike-rate, especially during the middle-overs. At times, Rahul has taken his time to get set but failed to capitalise on it, and hence, the lower-order couldn’t be utilized to its full.
Mandeep Singh is opening with KL Rahul as regular opener Mayank Agarwal is injured. He played brilliantly against KKR for his 66* and took Punjab home safely. Unless Agarwal is fit to return to the team, Mandeep will continue.
Major credit for the turnaround in Punjab’s fortunes should go to Chris Gayle. Gayle, in just 6 matches has scored 276 runs at a strike rate of 144, including 3 half-centuries. The Universe Boss has become the first player to smash 1000 T20 sixes. At 41, Gayle is still looking at his destructive self.
A strike rate of 173 this season suggests the manner in which Nicholas Pooran goes about his business. He has 351 runs in 13 matches, more importantly for Punjab, he has scored those runs in quick time. Pooran is Punjab’s enforcer in the lower middle-order where the team looks low on strength.
The numbers tell the story of Glenn Maxwell’s season- 108 runs in 13 matches, at a strike rate of 101. The Australian is yet to hit a maximum this season! Punjab has stuck with him for 13 matches, and they are likely to keep him for another game, as he offers a decent sixth bowling option as well.
If there was ever a good time for Maxwell to return to form this season, it is in the game against CSK- their final league match, where Punjab needs not just a victory but a big enough victory to almost ensure their qualification.
Deepak Hooda has got few chances this season, and he has played fairly according to the situation. Hooda also offers a bit of off-spin as well. Punjab have options on the bench in Krishnappa Gowtham and Karun Nair, however, they are unlikely to tinker with a combination which brought them on a five-match winning streak. If fit, Mayank Agarwal may replace either Hooda or Mandeep.
With his brilliant 3/17 against SRH and 2/25 against KKR, Chris Jordan proved why he is England’s best death bowlers for years. Jordan has got in his elements in the last few games and has been phenomenal in Punjab’s turnaround. He can also use his long levers to hit the ball deep into the stands.
Murugan Ashwin has chipped in wicket one of two wickets in almost every match. He has picked 10 wickets in 8 games at an economy of 7.92. Ashwin has shown his versatility by bowling with the new ball and in the middle-overs. He has done well in choking the batters in the middle phase of the innings.
Ravi Bishnoi was impressive in the Under-19 World Cup, and that the reason why Punjab has shown lots of faith in him by playing the leg-spinner since the first game. Bishnoi has picked 12 wickets at an economy of 7.17. He, along with Ashwin, has choked the opposition in the middle-overs and created pressure.
Arshdeep Singh’s inclusion has done wonders in the bowling department for Kings XI Punjab. He has given terrific support to Mohammed Shami and Jordan. The left-arm pacer has been smart with his lengths and variations. He has picked 9 wickets at an economy of 8.77.
Mohammed Shami has been Punjab’s lead bowler this season. He has 20 scalps to his name in 13 matches. Shami has been highly influential in the powerplay but has leaked runs in the death. However, in an important game, Punjab will hope that their star pacer delivers once again.