Mohali, Apr 17: Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab met at the Eden Gardens on April 15 and three days later, they will come face to face again, this time in Mohali on Wednesday night.
Both Punjab and Kolkata have four points each. However, the latter have played one game extra, five to four. Punjab have won their last two games.
When these two teams met then, Punjab managed to eke out a two-run victory in a low-scoring contest. It was a huge disappointment for Kolkata fans and their captain Gautam Gambhir was livid with the showing of his batsmen, who could not chase down a small target of 135.
“How can I say in a press conference that I am happy with their form. I've some experienced players and they need to take up responsibility. Otherwise there would be the need to take some strong and drastic decisions,” Gambhir had said after that loss.
“I am obviously pretty disappointed with the performance. The way we started in the first six overs, we should have chased it down. But it's a worrying sign if you end up losing these kind of games.”
Yusuf Pathan's form is a big worry. In five games he has just 23 runs with a highest of 15. He has faced only 31 balls. It is Gambhir, who heads their batting charts with 113 runs from five outings.
"He (Yusuf) needs to deliver to be very honest. He just can't keep playing these kind of shots. He is an important player for us. Hope he can get back to runs as soon as possible. I've lot of faith in him. He is a big match player. Hopefully he can end up winning a couple of games which is very important for us."
Kolkata's batting has to click on Wednesday. And their big player Yusuf has to emerge out of his form slump.
For Punjab, they too are not settled yet. But they will enjoy playing again in home conditions. They had beaten Pune here. It was Dmitri Mascarenhas' game as he took five wickets.
Punjab have welcomed former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood. After visa delay, he has now joined the team and it is still not clear whether the team management will give him a chance on Wednesday.
Kolkata will be hoping to win but it won't be an easy task at Punjab's home turf.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (captain and wicketkeeper), Paul Valthaty, Shaun Marsh, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, David Hussey, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Parvinder Awana, Bipul Sharma, Harmeet Singh, Praveen Kumar, Abhishek Nayar, Amit Yadav, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Nitin Saini, Paras Dogra, Ramesh Powar, Shalabh Srivastava, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh, Vikramjeet Singh, David Miller, James Faulkner, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Cutting, Ryan Harris and Kyle Abbott.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla, Manoj Tiwary, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Laxmipathy Balaji, Sunil Narine, Chirag Jani, Iqbal Abdulla, Iresh Saxena, Jaidev Unadkat, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Pradeep Sangwan, Sanju Samson, Sarabjit Ladda, Mohammad Shami Ahmed, Brendon McCullum, Brett Lee, Eoin Morgan and Marchant de Lange.
Match starts at 8 PM IST