Kumar Sangakkara had little to do other than kill time at the team hotel on Monday evening. It wasn’t as if the Kings XI skipper was done with his training. It was because he had been suspended for Tuesday’s match against the Mumbai Indians.
For a team reeling at the bottom of the points’ table, this was the last thing they needed ahead of the clash against the table-toppers.
Despite trying as many as 18 players in six matches, the team is struggling to find the best combination. As a result, it’s not a surprise that they are at the bottom of the table.
With Sangakkara punished for the team’s slow overrate in three matches, Mahela Jayawardene, who has been appointed stand-in captain, will have a lot to ponder on.
Jayawardene was honest about his team’s assessment.
“We had good starts at the top of the order, but none of us continued to bat. In a lot of top teams, you see one or two guys batting consistently at least till the 15th over. We haven’t done that. Our guys are hitting the ball well but not taking the added responsibility,” he said after practice at the Brabourne Stadium.
While KXIP have barely done anything right, Sachin Tendulkar’s team has barely put a foot wrong in their six matches.
Only twice have they been in trouble when the middle order crumbled against Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 20 and against the Deccan Chargers on Sunday. They managed to recover from a seemingly hopeless situation against the Chargers.
With Tendulkar in the form of his life and Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh bowling to their potential, it looks unlikely that the Mumbai Indians will give an inch to the KXIP.
Besides form, the tournament schedule has also suited the Mumbai Indians. They have had to travel once for a match against the Delhi Daredevils, and are supposed to play their next two games, including Tuesday’s, at home.