Will the Kochi Tuskers Kerala feel like a fish out of water when they take on the Kings XI Punjab in the first of their two ‘home’ games at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Friday?
Due to the complicated nature of the team’s ownership break-up, Mahela Jayawardene’s garishly attired squad will trade the sea breeze of Kerala for the dry heat of central India. The franchise owners, who shelled out more than Rs 1,500 crore for this team, will hope that the change of venue will bring a positive change to the team’s attendance record that has, for most part, been less than impressive.
There is also the business of trying to get into the playoffs. Kochi will be eager to forget the drubbing they got at the hands of Chris Gayle and the Royal Challengers Bangalore and get the better of Adam Gilchrist’s Kings XI Punjab.
High on confidence
The Mohali-based team is only marginally worse off than Kochi on the IPL points table but they are coming off a confidence-boosting win over the table-topping Mumbai Indians.
That confidence was evident in the manner in which their batsmen were smashing the ball in all corners of the stadium during practice.
The bowlers getting smashed, however, were mostly kids selected from the various cricket clubs in Indore.
It was both disturbing and heart-warming seeing cricketing hopefuls being clobbered by the pros who they might, some day, emulate by donning brightly-coloured jerseys.