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KXIP vs KKR, IPL 2019: Shubman Gill at home as Punjab-Kolkata face-off in must-win tie

It was at Mohali that Shubman had scored his highest Ranji Trophy knock this season when he made 265 against Tamil Nadu.

cricket Updated: May 03, 2019 07:53 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Mohali
KXIP vs KKR,IPL 2019,Subhman
Subhman Gill during practice session at IS Bindra Cricket Stadium in Mohali.(HT Photo)

Shubman Gill’s parents, Lakhwinder and Keerat, have been busy this IPL season. Despite soaring temperatures, they have been travelling to venues where Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) played. Now that Shubman is set to play his first IPL match at his home ground in Mohali, on Friday against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), they can’t wait to watch his homecoming.

“Shubi came home just for 15 minutes last evening. He has been really focused on doing well. We have been to Jaipur, Kolkata and Delhi. In fact my aged parents travelled from a Punjab village to Jaipur to watch the match against Rajasthan Royals. He will play in Mohali for KKR for the first time, so we are really excited,” said Shubman’s father.

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It was at Mohali that Shubman had scored his highest Ranji Trophy knock this season when he made 265 against Tamil Nadu. Shubman, who lives near the PCA Stadium, would be hoping it continues to bring him luck.

Shubman was sent to open the innings for the third time this season and he did not disappoint as KKR piled up 232 runs against Mumbai Indians with Andre Russell’s help, who scored a fantastic 40-ball 80.

After losing six straight games, KKR had logged a win to stay afloat in the competition. Another win is crucial to stay in contention for the playoffs.

With Shubman, Chris Lynn and Russell in superb form, KKR should be aiming for a big total. KKR head coach Jacques Kallis said, “We have made mistakes and as a result lost matches. We are aware we need to win next two games. Winning against KXIP would be very crucial for us. The batsmen did a fine job in the last match against Mumbai Indians. The players need to be aggressive and show some intent.”

Both KKR and KXIP need a win to survive. Both have 10 points but KKR are a rung above Punjab at sixth by virtue of better run-rate. KXIP had a disappointing outing against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match, with the bowlers leaking 212 runs.

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KXIP coach Mike Hesson said, “We have given too many runs in the Powerplay and in the death overs. At the same time, we have struggled with injuries too. We do not have big hitters like Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya so, accordingly we have made structural changes in the team.”

It won’t be easy for the hosts to bounce back from three straight losses. They are over dependent on KL Rahul and Chris Gayle but it will take good batting from Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran and David Miller if they want to win.

First Published: May 02, 2019 23:32 IST