Punjab Kings (PBKS) face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) today at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The KL Rahul-led side has won two matches out of its first five and would want another win dearly. Their win in the previous match against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) is bound to have increased the confidence in the camp and they would be up for it.
Their opponents, KKR are in a real spot of bother at the moment. They have won just one of their first five matches and find themselves rock-bottom in the table. On a four-match losing streak, they would be desperate to arrest the streak and get back to winning ways. With such desperation, they could turn up and be a hard nut to crack for PBKS today.
On that note, we take a look at how PBKS can defeat KKR.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs KKR – Key for PBKS #1: Top order must come good
PBKS’ strength has been their top order comprising of some of the best batsmen in the IPL at the moment. Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul have given the sides good starts and although the former has looked rusty at times, the duo has still been extremely important for the side. Chris Gayle came good in the previous match and he would want to continue the form.
PBKS’ middle-order does not inspire a lot of confidence due to the fact that the side has collapsed more often than not when the top order has failed to score. The responsibility would thus, be on the openers and Gayle to not throw their wicket away and score big to put pressure on KKR.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs KKR – Key for PBKS #2: Deal with Andre Russell early
Soon after KKR’s loss in their previous match against Rajasthan Royals, there was backlash over the position of the dangerous Andre Russell in the batting order. The West Indian was held back for too long and by the time he came in, KKR were in deep trouble and the West Indian could not take them to a good total as he holed out early.
KKR would thus, look to promote him up the order today. The key for PBKS would hence, be to deal with him early. By attacking the West Indian instead of looking to restrict him, the side could work wonders by inducing a false shot from him. If Russell gets out early, KKR would well and truly be in a pickle.