India vs Australia: 3 player battles to look out for in the T20I series

India are all set to take on Australia for two Twenty20 Internationals and five One Day Internationals; starting from February 24. 


India had a rather successful tour to Australia later last year. They had played three T20Is, four Test matches, and three ODIs there. This time, Australia will play a limited-overs series which will comprise of two Twenty20 Internationals and five One Day Internationals.

These are the three player battles to look out for in the series.

Aaron Finch vs Jasprit Bumrah

Image Source – India Today

The top-order batsman didn’t have a great outing against India in their last encounter as he has struggled big time. However, he had a rather impressive season in the Big Bash League (BBL).

Whereas Jasprit Bumrah is all set to make his comeback after the break. He was not the part of the team in their ODI series against Australia and India’s tour to New Zealand. He will be playing for the first time since November 2018.

Finch was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar four times in their series where he scored 26 runs in three One Day International matches and 55 runs in the Twenty20 Internationals. And, everyone knows what Jasprit Bumrah is capable of. Hene, Bumrah vs Finch battle early in the innings will be interesting to see.

Also Read: Players to watch out for in the series

Glenn Maxwell vs Yuzvendra Chahal

Image Source – The Indian Express

Another interesting players battle is going to have between Yuzvendra Chahal and Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell is a well-known player of spin who loves to play big shots as well as loves to use his feet. He can turn the table single-handedly on his day.

However, Chahal has a wonderful record against this Australia all-rounder. When Australia toured to India in 2017 for a limited over series, Chahal dismissed Maxwell three times in a row. He has dismissed Maxwell three times in T20Is as well. Along with these, Chahal picked up his wicket three times in the IPL also.

Meanwhile, Maxwell has been in a good form in the Big Bash League and will try to maintain that form. On the other hand, Chahal too will try to repeat his performance against Maxwell. However, Chahal is five wickets away to reach 50 T20I wickets and if he achieves the feat, he will become the second Indian spinner to do so.

Virat Kohli vs Jhye Richardson

Image Source – deccanherald.com

India captain Virat Kohli is one of the best batsmen in the world cricket right now. He has been in a red hot form for the last couple of years- be it limited overs or the longest format of the game. He helped his side to a series win at the SCG against Australia in November last year. 

The Indian skipper has scored 488 runs at an average of 61.00 against Australia. However, he was rested for the T20I series against New Zealand and all set to back in the circuit from the break.

Whereas, Australia’s new-found fast bowler Jhye Richardson has been pretty impressive so far in all the three formats of the game. He picked up Virat Kohli in the last ODI series against India in their home soil. He scalped the Indian captain, Kohli in all the three games. He has so far played 16 International matches where he picked up 16 wickets.

Thus, Virat Kohli vs Jhye Richardson is going to be one of the highlighted battles of the series.

India vs Australia: 5 Players To Watch Out For The ODI Series

India vs Australia: 5 Players To Watch Out For The ODI Series

India is going to face Australia in a three-match ODI series. Having won the Test series by 2-1, India is currently riding high on success; whereas Australia will try to get back in the winning zone. 


Before the series starts, here are the 5 players, who could play a crucial role in the scintillating contest starts from January 12 at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Nathan Lyon

Image Source – CricketCountry.com

Nathan Lyon had been in a great form in 2018 as he was the third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket where he scalped 49 wickets in 10 games. Lyon did the major work for the team and he was also the joint highest wicket-taker in the Test Series against India where he bagged 21 wickets in 4 games, including 2 five-fers and a four-fer. Also, he had bowled the most overs (242.1) bowled by any bowler in the Test series.

Lyon, the test specialist off-spinner, has played 15 ODIs so far and last played an ODI against England in Manchester on the 24th of June, 2018. Now, he will try to keep the form where he left off in the Test series and try to cement his place in the squad for the upcoming World Cup.

Also Read: 4 Reasons why India should win the ODI series

Kuldeep Yadav

Image Source – India.com

One of the main spin attacks of India, Yadav’s career is only getting better with time. Recently, he was a part of the fourth test against Australia where he took a five-fer. The 24-year old Chinaman bowler is one of the most successful bowlers in the limited overs as well.

Having made his ODI debut in 2017, he has played 33 ODIs where he picked up 66 wickets so far, with the best figure of 6/25. His variation in spin can trouble any batters in the world. Moreover, he has the ability to take wickets whenever needed.

Aaron Finch

Image Source – stuff.co.nz

Australia’s limited overs skipper Aaron Finch is one of the experienced players as well. Though he has been going through a rough patch in his career, his presence will produce more strength in the squad. The ODI series against India would play an important role in deciding his future whether he will be a part of the squad for the World Cup.

He had managed to score only 97 runs in 6 innings against India in the recently concluded test series. His poor form caused his exclusion from the side for the final test. Prior to the series against India, he failed to score in the ODI series against South Africa where he scored 57 runs in 3 matches. While leading the three-match ODI series, Finch will try to lead the Aussies to victory as well as to get back in runs.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Image Source – cricfit.com

Arguably one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in world cricket, MS Dhoni is back in the squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia. Like Finch, he too had faced a rough patch in his batting last year. He had managed to score only 275 runs in 13 matches at an average of 25.00 with the strike rate of 71.43.

One of the best finishers in limited-over cricket, Dhoni has not even scored a single half-century during that period. However, his experience of the game and quick gloves work is unquestionable. Dhoni had a great year behind the stumps last year with 27 dismissals, including 17 catches and 10 stumpings.

He has the ability to turn the table single-handedly. He will play a crucial role in the team and one of the main players for the upcoming World Cup. He’ll surely try to get back in the good form prior to the mega event.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Image Source – Cricbuzz.com

After Jaspreet Bumrah was rested by the selectors, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will play a pivotal role in the three-match ODI series. Though he was a part of the test squad also, he didn’t get a single chance to play as India played their pace attack trio Bumrah, Shami and Ishant Sharma.

Kumar is one of the best swing bowlers in the world cricket, who has the ability to swing the ball both ways which makes him different and more dangerous from the other bowlers. He played the three-match T20I series against Australia where in the first and third game he didn’t take any wickets. In the second game, he scalped 2 wickets for 20 runs in his 3 over spell.

All eyes will be on Bhuvneshwar Kumar because his spell can surely make a difference in any game. Moreover, he too will try to improve his performance before the World Cup.

T20I XI of 2018

T20I XI of 2018

The T20I format has grown leaps and bounds ever since India won the first WT20 Cup in 2007.


The year 2018 saw plenty of action in the shortest format of the game, and here is the T20I XI from last year.

 

Shikhar Dhawan 

The 33-year old pitched in with some magnificent performances throughout the year. He was not only the highest run-scorer in India’s tour to South Africa but also top-scored for India during the Nidahas Trophy in March. He scored 689 runs over 18 matches, including six fifties in 2018.

 

Aaron Finch

Despite the Australian team stumbling for most parts of the year, Finch had a season to remember as he scored 531 runs in 17 games, including a high score of 172 against Zimbabwe. The skipper scored his runs at an average of over 40, and he had two fifties to go along with his record-breaking ton. 

 

Colin Munro

The Kiwi player was in fine form in 2018, smashing almost every bowler that he faced out of the ground. He ended the year with a strike-rate of 178 in 12 games, wherein he scored 500 runs at an average of 45.45. 

 

Babar Azam

Pakistan had a tremendous run of form in the shortest formats and the success can heavily be attributed to Azam’s success with the bat. The middle-order player averaged 62.55 in 12 games, scoring 563 runs with six half-centuries. Azam ended the year as the number 1 ranked T20I batsman. 

 

Also Read: ODI XI of 2018

 

Mushfiqur Rahim 

The wicket-keeper provided solidarity in the middle overs and was one of the most dependable batsmen from his country in the format in 2018. The Bangladeshi ended the year with 397 runs from 13 games and racked up three fifties. 

 

Glenn Maxwell

The dangerous player started the year with a bang, scoring truckloads of runs in the tri-series that featured New Zealand, Australia, and England. The all-rounder finished the calendar year with 506 runs from 18 innings, which also included a hundred and two fifties. 

 

Shakib Al Hasan

Picking up 15 wickets and scoring 248 runs in 2018, the all-rounder had yet another memorable year for the Tigers. Despite having an injury after the Asia Cup, the premier player came back strongly at the end of the year and was his side’s go-to player for most parts of 2018. 

 

Shadab Khan

Yet another Pakistani finds a place in the T20I XI of 2018. The spinner had a successful debut in 2017 and went from strength to strength last year as he scalped 28 wickets in 19 games. His average of 17.42 and an economy rate of 6.62 shows how destructive he was. 

 

Rashid Khan

The youngster has made it a habit of slaying the rivals with his bowling, and his performances in 2018 were no different. Though Afghanistan played only 8 games last year, the wily spinner managed to pick up 22 wickets at an impressive average of below 9!

 

Andrew Tye

The Australian had a fabulous IPL and continued his form in international T20s as well. The Aussie ended the year as the highest wicket-taker, picking up 31 wickets in 18 games whilst conceding runs at an economy of 8.56 an over. 

 

Keemo Paul

The highest wicket-taker for West Indies, Paul had a memorable outing in the format last year as he picked up 17 wickets in 13 games, including a 5-wicket haul against the Bangladeshis. The pacer has become one of the most dangerous players in the world, as he continues to threaten with his pace and his variations. 

Six Players and Their Fate In IPL 2019

IPL

The IPL auction is on 18th of December. The teams have released quite a few players from their squad. The stage for ICC 2019 World Cup is also set. 


Different cricket boards are not very willing to send their cricketers for Indian Premier League and want them to concentrate for the most prestigious cricket show on the earth. So this time the situation is a bit tricky. It is not easy to predict the futures of the released players in the IPL auction. Keeping in mind all the possibilities and obstacles, we are trying to foresee the potential of six such players in the upcoming IPL.

 

Mitchell Starc

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Mitchell Starc (Photo: AFP)

With an upcoming World cup just days away from the completion of 2019 IPL season, there is a chance that quite a few players may opt out from the tournament or forced by their cricket boards to play a limited role. One of them would be Mitchell Starc, one of the best fast bowlers in the world. Starc was player of the tournament in the last edition of cricket’s showpiece event and Australia would expect no less from him if they have to keep the trophy with them for another four years. Keeping all these in mind it looks like there will be no taker for Starc in the IPL auction. Starc himself also was very irregular in T20 circuit focussing more on the test and ODIs. He played just one T20 international in last two years, which was the 3rd match in the recently concluded series against India and did not play either IPL or BBL. KKR went for him during the last auction and picked him for a huge sum of 9.4 Crore INR and hoped that he would lead their pack of youngsters but it will be a huge surprise if any team go for Starc in this auction.

Also Read: 3 high profile overseas players who might go unsold in the IPL 2019 auction

 

Yuvraj Singh

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Yuvraj Singh (Photo: Reuters)

Yuvraj Singh is one of the superstars in Indian cricket since his debut 18 years back. The Punjab lad immediately made his mark and with time he became one of the most destructive middle order batsmen and a handy bowler. With the invent of T20 cricket, he found himself to be well-suited for the slam-bang version of the game and his 70 of 30 balls in the 2007 T20 World cup semi-final or the six sixes he hit in that over from Stuart Broad are the stuff of legends. In IPL also, Yuvraj used to be a prized commodity and had played quite a few good knocks over the years for Kings XI Punjab. Although he had to miss a couple of seasons due to his illness, even on his return he was considered as a prime pick. He was picked for 14 crores by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014 auction. In 2016 auction, his price was even higher and Delhi bought him for 16 Crore, an IPL record. In 2018 he was picked up by KXIP but released due to his average form. He has not played a single T20 match post last IPL and has appeared in only a handful of list-A matches for his state team. It is very difficult to see any team who may be interested in the southpaw during the auction. In case he reduces his base price, teams like KXIP or RCB may pick him expecting him to take more of a mentorship role.

 

 

Mohit Sharma

Mohit-Sharma
Mohit Sharma (Photo: Getty Images)

Mohit Sharma can be called one of the true finds for IPL who made it to the national team and also played in a World cup based on his good showing during IPL. In his earlier days, he used to be a dependable bowler of MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings team with his control and variations. He also had a couple of good seasons with KXIP and it was a little surprising when KXIP released him this time. However, there should be quite a few suitors for Sharma during the auction and we should see a quick bidding between the teams. CSK would definitely love to have him back to provide some additional support to existing bowlers like Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur. Another team which may show interest is KKR. KKR will like to have a senior Indian bowler leading the pack of youngsters like Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Prasidh Krishna. Another option could be Delhi Daredevils who have three very good overseas fast bowlers in Rabada, Morris, and Boult but may look to strengthen their Indian bowling option by picking Sharma.

Also Read: 3 high profile Indian players who might go unsold in IPL auction 2019

 

JP Duminy

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JP Duminy (Photo: BCCI)

JP Duminy has played successfully for multiple IPL teams and also led Delhi Daredevils in the 2015 season. He was a part of Mumbai Indians team in 2018 with moderate success and hence was released; at 34, age is not in his side and injuries are catching up. He was also released by Islamabad United, his franchise in Pakistan Super League. Duminy is currently earning praises for his commentary during the ongoing Mzansi Super League which he gave a miss due to a shoulder injury. However, in his prime, he was a very useful all-rounder and should be in demand during the auction from teams like DD and KXIP who are looking for some much-needed experience in their middle order.

 

Axar Patel

axar patel
Axar Patel (Photo: BCCI)

Axar Patel is another name who first made his mark in IPL and then later went on to represent India in international cricket. Axar may have been pushed back in the pecking order due to a recent great showing from Kuldeep, Chala, and Jadeja, he is still considered a handy contributor in the limited over game with his tight bowling, big shots, and sharp fielding. It is a surprise that KXIP after detaining him last year now has released him but this creates good opportunities for a few other teams. Delhi Daredevils would be one of the teams who should be interested in Axar especially after trading Shahbaz Nadeem to SRH. Axar can be a good replacement and develop a good partnership with leg-spinner Amit Mishra if picked. Another team who may be interested in Axar is Mumbai Indians. Although they unearthed a great young talent in Mayank Markande last year, most of their spin bowling options do not have enough IPL experience and Axar can provide them a good cover.

 

Aaron Finch

aaron finch
Aaron Finch (Photo: Getty Images)

Aaron Finch, Australia’s T20 captain is considered as one of the best batsmen in the T20 format of the game. However, in IPL, Finch is kind of a journeyman, playing for seven different franchises and even leading some of them. Finch had a poor IPL in 2017 for KXIP, scoring only 134 runs as he could not open in the presence of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. That is the reason why KXIP management found him surplus to the requirement this time and released him. But with a player of Finch’s potential should not have any problem in selecting by a franchise. The only thing which can go after him is Cricket Australia’s decision to plan a World cup preparation camp which coincides with the IPL. Still teams like SRH, KKR and CSK may go against Finch to add much-needed firepower in the top of the order.

IPL Match 56, Post-Match Analysis: End of the road for Kings XI Punjab

CSK VS KXIP

IPL 2018 | Match 56 | CSK vs KXIP: Chennai Super Kings ended the final knockout match with a comfortable win against the Kings XI Punjab by five wickets.

CSK is now at par with the table-toppers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, with 18 points and will be facing them in the Qualifier 1 match on May 22nd. This result helped Rajasthan Royals keep its place in the top four as they made it to the playoffs as well.

KXIP, on the other hand, finished the tournament with their eighth successive defeat at seventh place. They needed a win by at least 53 runs to make it to the playoffs but didn’t even come close to the target.

CSK won the toss and opted to field first. Placing KXIP to bat, they had a terrible start as they lost all their big-hitting batsmen, KL Rahul (7), Chris Gayle (0) and Aaron Finch (4) within the Power Play. With only 29 runs by the end of PP, Manoj Tiwary (35) and David Miller (24) added a substantial amount of runs to the score. Tiwary was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja and Miller left soon after at the hands of a well-executed yorker by Dwayne Bravo. But it was only Karun Nair‘s brilliant knock of 54 runs off 26 balls laced with three fours and five sixes that provided any chance of KXIP winning. Axar Patel (14) attempted to support him in his ordeal but was taken out by a stunning catch by Sam Billings. After his wicket, captain Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye and Ankit Rajpoot along with Nair were taken out one by one until KXIP ended their innings at 153 – all out in 19.4 overs.

Lungi Ngidi was the star of the match as he finished with a spectacular figure of 4/10. Bravo had a good day on the field too as he eliminated two crucial KXIP batsmen but conceded 39 runs in his four overs.

CSK had a target of 154 to chase which they achieved in 19.1 overs. They ended the innings with Suresh Raina‘s unbeaten 61 runs off 48 balls laced with two sixes and four fours and MS Dhoni‘s seven ball cameo of 16 runs. He ended the match in a very Dhoni-esque way with a spectacular six. However, their start wasn’t as entertaining as the end. CSK lost Ambati Rayudu (1) in the second over to Mohit Sharma. The situation didn’t improve with two back-to-back dismissals of Faf du Plessis (14) and Sam Billings (0) by pacer Ankit Rajpoot, two overs later. Plessis was caught out by Gayle while Billings was clean-bowled for a golden duck. Ankit Rajpoot not only took down the wickets but also reduced them to 27/3 in five overs. Harbhajan Singh (19) and Suresh Raina then came in and took the team to fifty runs in nine overs. Just when they got the momentum going, Harbhajan was dismissed by captain Ravichandran Ashwin himself in the eleventh over. At that point, CSK needed 96 off 59 balls. Raina attempted to keep the run rate going but it fell uneven with no possibility of a boundary. In fact, the team had six dry overs from the ninth to the fifteenth over with no boundaries. With a target of 73 off 36 balls, Deepak Chahar hit two consecutive sixes in Ashwin’s over and Axar Patel’s over to bring the target to an easier 40 runs off 24 balls. But Ashwin came with vengeance to remove Chahar in the seventeenth over. However, his 20-ball 39 helped reduce 56 runs from the target with Raina. Then came in Dhoni and the rest was history.

This win has given CSK two chances at the final at the Qualifiers and the Eliminator and with their in-form performance, they look like they are about to give some tough competition to the Sunrisers Hyderabad. They will now be clashing with SRH for the Qualifiers 1 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on May 22nd at 20:00 IST.

IPL Match 56, Pre-Match Analysis: KXIP in the final knock-out with CSK

CSK VS KXIP

IPL 2018 | Match 56 | CSK vs KXIP: Chennai Super Kings will be facing Kings XI Punjab for the fourth and final knockout match before the playoffs kick off at the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium, Pune tonight at 20:00 IST.

Kings XI Punjab dominated the first half of the season but now their luck has reversed with only win in seven matches. The team has a herculean task ahead of them as they not only have to worry about defeating the second-placed Chennai Super Kings but also about raising their net run rate. Just a win won’t get them through to the playoffs – currently, their NRR is -0.490 and they will have to exceed -0.250 to replace Rajasthan Royals from the fourth position, provided the Mumbai Indians fail today.

Only KL Rahul has provided in terms of batting with spectacular knocks in all their matches but has been unable to lead the team to the victory with little to no support from his fellow batsmen. Chris Gayle started off the season with a vengeance for being one of the lowest auctioned players and partnered with Rahul to form a torpedo-like duo but has been inconsistent lately. Among the remaining, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Yuvraj Singh, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair have failed to perform when the team needed them the most.

In case of bowling, Andrew Tye is the leading wicket-taker not only in the team but also in the tournament with 24 wickets from 13 matches. Without the injured Mujeeb ur Rahman, however, even his bowling does not have the required impact and against the star-studded batting line-up that is CSK, more than Tye is required for a win. Ravichandran Ashwin will need to put his wide assortment of pacers and spinners to use tonight and he himself will have to step up.

CSK, on the other hand, have already qualified for the playoffs and they sit in second place with 16 points. A win will place them at par with the Sunrisers Hyderabad and directly into the first Qualifiers on May 22nd. However, they recently tasted defeat in the hands of bottom-of-the-table Delhi Daredevils which has exposed their weaknesses and they will need to gain footing again.

For the Yellow Brigade, Ambati Rayudu has been brilliant throughout both as an opener and at number four position. He will be expected to give a flying start to the team with Australian all-rounder Shane Watson. MS Dhoni himself has proved himself to be one of the best captains the world has seen and has taken it upon himself to take the team to victory after the two-year hiatus. Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, and Ravindra Jadeja will also need to make an impact tonight.

Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur will take care of the bowling department along with the veteran spinner duo of Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja. Bravo will need to gather himself as he found himself hammered for 26 runs off the final over in the last match.

The temperatures have been going to a maximum of 37 degrees during the day in Pune but thunderstorms are a possibility in the evening.

CSK will most probably stick with the same line-up. In case of KXIP, Yuvraj Singh may face replacement by Karun Nair and Mujeeb ur Rahman was seen at the try-outs but it is still not confirmed as to whether he’d make it for the game tonight.

The two teams have clashed seventeen times previously and CSK leads with three wins over KXIP. Pune hasn’t been that lucky for the team either as KXIP has managed only one win of six games in this venue. CSK has the upper hand regarding batting and the least wickets lost and are therefore the more probable winners of tonight’s match.

Brad Hodge, the head coach of KXIP, expressed his nervousness regarding tonight’s game – “I just hope we are in a position tomorrow where we can give an entertaining performance and try and make the playoffs.”

A season that has seen major comebacks, will KXIP be able to finally get it together and bring back the grandeur their team held at the beginning of the season? Watch tonight to find out.

Highlights IPL Match 50, Post-Match Analysis: KXIP faces another defeat, MI moves to top 4

MI VS KXIP

IPL 2018 | Match 50 | MI vs KXIP: Mumbai Indians jumped to the fourth position as they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 3 runs in a heart-racing match last night at the Wankhede Stadium. Kings XI Punjab’s condition has never been worse as they move down one more spot to accommodate their opponent in the top four.

KXIP won the toss and opted to bowl first, taking the dew settling in the second innings into consideration. KXIP brought Yuvraj Singh and Manoj Tiwary back as Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair sat back. Mujeeb ur Rahman was still unavailable to make the game. In case of Mumbai Indians, Rohit Sharma replaced JP Duminy by Kieron Pollard.

Suryakumar Yadav (27) and Evin Lewis (9), as usual, opened for the Mumbai Indians. Yadav tried to initiate a good run rate but he was not supported by Lewis, again as usual. Lewis was bowled by Andrew Tye in the fourth over after which wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan came in to replace him (20). Kishan’s cameo for two overs added another 20 runs on the board until he and Yadav were caught in Tye’s hellfire as well.

By the end of the powerplay, MI had lost three crucial wickets but had 60 runs in their pocket.

Rohit Sharma (6) took Kishan’s place and left the field soon to bring in Kieron Pollard (50). Pollard’s fifty saved the team from a mid-innings slump. His partnership with Krunal Pandya (32) kept the momentum going and powered the score to 136 by the fifteenth over. Pollard had been dropped out of the line-up after has weak batting performance but last night, he made sure captain Rohit Sharma did not regret his decision of bringing him back. Just when things were looking good for the MI, Krunal Pandya was dismissed soon after which Pollard sealed his half-century and left the field too. Hardik Pandya (9) and Ben Cutting (4) were brought in to replace the two. Both had very short spells on the field after which Mitchell McClenaghan (11) and Mayank Markande (7) came in. They finished the last two overs of the innings with a score of 186 for 8.

KXIP bowled well last night with Tye at the head and may have even managed to restrict their opponents to a lower score but Pollard’s fifty and Pandya’s cameo really made a difference. Purple cap Andrew Tye was responsible for four of the wickets, including the first three crucial wickets during the power-play. Captain Ashwin himself took down two of his opponents – Kieron Pollard and Ben Cutting. Marcus Stoinis and Ankit Rajpoot took a wicket each but also let too many runs slip. Axar Patel and Mohit Sharma did not help KXIP’s case. A cut-down of a few runs could have made all the difference for KXIP.

For KXIP’s innings, KL Rahul‘s 94 went in vain as has been the usual occurrence in the last few matches. Chris Gayle (19) helped start KXIP with a good scoring as the two took 19 runs off Krunal Pandya in the third over. Gayle, however, then found himself dismissed by Mitchell McClenaghan in the very next over as KXIP rose to cheer. Aaron Finch (46) came in to replace him and together with Rahul, brought 58 runs by the end of power-play and 86 with half of their innings left. In the eleventh over, Rahul took his fiftieth run from Krunal Pandya with one six and six fours. He also took back the orange cap from Rishabh Pant with a season total of 652. He sent Mayank Markande to the bleachers as he hit two consecutive sixes and pushed the score to 145/1 by the end of sixteen overs. Finch was then taken out by Jasprit Bumrah who went on to dismiss Marcus Stoinis (1) as well in the same over. Axar Patel (10) replaced Stoinis and remained undefeated as he supported Rahul reach the 90-mark by the penultimate over. KXIP then faced a massive blow as Rahul was suspended by Bumrah with 20 runs left off 9 balls. Out-of-form Yuvraj Singh (1) then came in and immensely disappointed with his performance as he threw away his wicket to McClenaghan, wasting a ball. Manoj Tiwary (4) then came in and ended the innings with a boundary.

Jasprit Bumrah was named Man of the Match as he spectacularly took out three wickets. Bringing down Rahul was the turning point for KXIP as the following batsmen found themselves incapable of reaching the target themselves. The rest of the MI bowlers did not make any significant contribution and may have reduced the match to fewer overs.

This last-ball win for the Mumbai Indians proved to come at a very crucial point in the season as they built a good net run rate in their previous matches to jump directly into the top four and become a contender for the two remaining playoff spots.

MI will be facing the Delhi Daredevils on Sunday at Delhi while KXIP will clash with the Chennai Super Kings the same night at Pune.

IPL Match 44, Post-Match Analysis: KKR back in the game!

KXIP VS KKR

IPL 2018 | Match 44 | KXIP vs KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders steal their position in the top four back with a win against the Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs. The match saw the highest total of this season and the fourth highest in IPL ever – a massive 245 runs for six.

A major contributor to this historic match was Sunil Narine, who finally proved his worth with 75 runs off 36 balls. He was supported by Dinesh Karthik‘s 50 off 23 and Andre Russell‘s 31 off 14. With that total, the game already belonged to the Purple boys but KXIP wasn’t that far behind.

The Ravichandran Ashwin-led side put up a good fight and could afford the defeat with 12 points in the third position. The Gayle-Rahul storm delivered to Gayle and Mayank Agarwal was taken out in consecutive balls by Andre Russell. KL Rahul was left to fend for the team as he did in their previous match against the Rajasthan Royals. After he was dismissed by Narine in the ninth over, it was all over for the team with Ashwin and Aaron Finch pushing it to 214 runs.

KXIP will look to catch a break from the successive defeats in their next match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Indore on Monday. KKR will be facing RR at Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

IPL Match 44, Pre-Match Analysis: KXIP to battle it out with KKR

KXIP VS KKR

IPl 2018 | Match 44 | KXIP vs KKR: Kings XI Punjab placed third on the table are to face a fifth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders at Indore for a crucial match at 16:00 IST. This match will put the winners in the running for the playoffs, making a victory for KXIP to gain their momentum and KKR to not be left behind. Both teams have promising players and have been in the headlines for their mind-blowing performances this season, however, the last few losses for both teams have brought both their confidence and their position on the table down. 

Kolkata Knight Riders were one of the top four teams on the way to the playoffs less than two days ago but with their defeat in the hands of the Mumbai Indians, they’ve been replaced. The Dinesh Karthik-led side will look to get their spot back with a major improvement in the bowling area, a weakness that cost them their last game. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla have been giving away more runs than restricting, which is a place of worry for the team. 

KXIP were also well on their way to the playoffs but have been held back with successive losses. Although their position on the table hasn’t changed, tonight’s match might earn them the second place and a direct entry to the playoffs if they win with a higher net run rate than the Chennai Super Kings. As we know, KXIP has been heavily dependent on their openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul who has not failed to perform yet but as was proved from their last defeat, they need the support of the middle-order batsmen. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Mayank Agarwal, and Aaron Finch have not been making an impact.  

Two teams with desperate reasons to win are to battle it out tonight – this will surely be a cracker of a game to watch!