No room for error
The way Kings XI Punjab have out-batted their opponents in the two games played here (Dharamsala), the wicket here gives the impression of being a typical Indian batting beauty. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. Match boxindia Updated: May 21, 2011 01:46 IST
The way Kings XI Punjab have out-batted their opponents in the two games played here, the wicket here gives the impression of being a typical Indian batting beauty.
However, the players have a different tale to tell. "Batting here is not as easy it's been made to look. The wicket has some real nip and the ball flies," said Dinesh Karthik of Kings XI.
The key to Kings XI's success here has been their shot selection as once you get it right, cutting off the hit is tough with the ball travelling faster and farther due to the altitude.
Paul Valthaty, Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh and Dinesh Karthik have certainly adapted beautifully and a fascinating battle looks on card when they take on Deccan Chargers on Saturday. Gilchrist & Co will be up against one of the best bowling line-ups in the competition.Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma make a formidable opening pair and are backed up by in-form spinners Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha. The Gilchrist-Valthaty vs Steyn-Sharma battle will make compulsive watcher.
"Chargers have some high quality players. Their fast bowling unit has been excellent. It's been a kind of resurrection for Sharma after somewhat being in the wilderness since storming into the international scene," said Gilchrist.
One player who would absolutely feel at home is World No 1 ranked Test bowler, Steyn. "It's a nice, pacy wicket which suits our team as well. Steyn should enjoy it especially, it's very similar to Johannesburg - a bit of bounce and high altitude," said Cameron White, the Chargers' stand-in skipper.
Kings XI's qualification to the play-offs also depends on the results of Kolkata and Mumbai games, and with the former's win over Pune that route is virtually blocked. Gilchrist said they were now hoping to sneak through at Mumbai's expense.
"KKR's win has made it difficult to qualify from that route but now we are looking at Mumbai, who have to win both their matches," said Gilchrist.