Durban: Both Kings XI Punjab and Bangalore Royal Challengers will be desperately looking for a win when they face each other in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Kingsmead Stadium here Friday.
Kings XI, who made semi-finals last year, are yet to taste a win in the second edition and on both the occasions they took the field, rain played spoil sport. They lost to Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders by the Duckworth-Lewis Method and are lying at the bottom of the league.
Royal Challengers under new skipper Kevin Pietersen started their campaign on a positive note with a stunning 75-run win over defending champions Rajasthan Royals on the opening day. But since then they have lost with consecutive losses to Super Kings and Deccan Chargers.
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On both occasions, when Royal Challengers lost, they had to face the wrath at the hands of two retired Australians -- Matthew Hayden (Super Kings) and Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers).
'We have been unfortunate in the last two matches because we were at the receiving end of Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist. They have done it for Australia so often. You cannot do much when they are in such form,' Pietersen said.
Pietersen has asked his team to pull up their socks in the first six overs, both while batting and bowling. He said the bowlers need to check the run-flow in the first six overs and the top-order should not throw their wickets at the start.
'We are not playing well in the first six overs. We are giving away too many runs and then losing wickets upfront while chasing. Our target will be how to play well in those first six overs. Otherwise, we have done well as a team. If we can sort out the initial problems in bowling and batting, I am sure everything else will fall in place,' he said.
Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kalis and Virat Kohli are yet to fire and the onus will be on them to come out with some superb performance. But the bowlers Dale Steyn, Praveen Kumar and Anil Kumble have done reasonable well.
On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab has proved to be the most unlucky team of the IPL so far. This time they will be praying hard to keep the rain gods away. The responsibility will be on skipper Yuvraj Singh, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene to get the score on board for the bowlers to defend.