IPL 2014 has been one of the most entertaining seasons ever, which has witnessed a number of ups and downs in the tournament. The tournament, which started with eight teams, has boiled down to just two teams after an intriguing contest in the last five weeks or so. Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab, have played some good cricket to reach the finals of the competition, scheduled later tonight in M. Chinnaswamy stadium.
Kings XI Punjab
might have been the best team in the competition so far, right from the round robin stages, but in KKR, they find a strong opponent, who has been playing brilliant cricket of late. Their bowlers and batsmen have risen to the occasion and have given their team an excellent chance to lift aloft the trophy.
Robin Uthappa’s form has been one of the main reasons for KKRs success, as he has amassed a staggering 655 runs, highest run scorer in the tournament so far. Their skipper, Gautam Gambhir has also been impressive with more than 300 runs against his name. Both these top order players, along with Yusuf Pathan need to be on top of their game to challenge the KXIP bowlers, who have also been impressive in the season so far. Sandeep Sharma has been the best bowler for KXIP with 18 wickets, while Mitchell Johnson has equally been a huge bowler with 15 wickets.
But it is the KXIP batsmen, which has been their biggest asset, which includes a number of destructive batsmen, namely Sehwag, Bailey, Maxwell and Miller. Maxwell has been their best bet with 552 runs at an amazing strike rate of above 180. With Sehwag coming back to form in the last match, scoring a huge hundred, KKR bowlers might want to see the batsman back in the pavilion as soon as possible.
Sunil Narine holds the key for KKR having taken 20 wickets. It is primarily the spin trio of Piyush Chawla, Shakib and Narine, who needs to be consistent with their line and length, along with their variety. But, on the other hand, KXIP have batsmen who are great players of spin bowling such as Maxwell and Sehwag, who can murder any bowling attack in the world. Who will prevail?
Punjab has never won the prestigious competition, but this season might be their best chance to win the title, while KKR has won the competition in 2012. If Kings XI Punjab wins the title this season, they need to give a major share of credit to their coach Sanjay Bangar for having chosen some of the best players in the IPL auction.