Kings XI Punjab meet Mumbai Indians in potential humdinger
Two buoyant sides, boasting some of the best strokeplayers in contemporary cricket, will collide head on when Kings XI Punjab take on Mumbai Indians in a potential humdinger in the Indian Premier League in Durban today, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.cricket Updated: Apr 29, 2009 02:34 IST
The Kings XI Punjab have reason to be happy because Brett Lee has recovered from an ankle injury.
At the same time, there is room for concern because he will be joining the Australia squad in Abu Dhabi for the ODI series against Pakistan. The speedster will be available for IPL duty again on May 8.
Having said that, they wouldn’t let Lee’s absence upset them ahead of Wednesday’s encounter against the Mumbai Indians. The Kings XI have come back well with two successive wins, after an equal number of defeats early on, and the bowlers have progressively done better. The think-tank also believes its bowlers can trouble the Mumbai Indians once they separate the opening pair of Sachin Tendukar and Sanath Jayasuriya.
Bowling was a major concern but the double-spin combination of Ramesh Powar and Piyush Chawla worked well on Sunday against the Rajasthan Royals and the duo of Yusuf Abdulla and Irfan Pathan has been effective in taking wickets.
While on bowling, Mumbai Indians too possess a potent attack with Lasith Malinga getting sharper as the tournament wears on. The Sri Lankan’s deadly yorkers have made up for Zaheer Khan’s lightweight display so far and the Kings XI batsmen will need to be wary of him.
After a quiet beginning, Durban has warmed up with good turnouts on Saturday and Monday. The queues for tickets outside the Kingsmead, though not exceptionally long, have been steady.
With the teams’ strengths and weaknesses becoming clear, interest in the tournament is on the rise too. A face-off between two teams in good form is just what the fans will be looking forward to.