Hardly few days left to wrap up the biggest T20 tournament in World cricket. IPL is onto it’s final stages. But what’s amazing is that the picture isn’t clear yet as to who is going to make to the playoffs. MI , KXIP , RR, RCB , KKR are all competing for the 3rd and 4th spot. The defending champions, MI had their chances this season as well to easily qualify for the playoffs, but things just didn’t turn out easy for them.
They now depend on the outcome of other team’s matches to ensure a berth in the top 4. Both MI and KXIP are struggling hard to make their way into the playoffs. KXIP had an excellent start to 11th edtion of IPL and at one stage they were expected to be the first franchise to book a seat in the top four. With back to back losses , KXIP has limited their opportunities as well.
KXIP would have to win every match from here on keeping in mind the net run rate as well. MI vs KXIP battle will surely be a clash of the titans as both the franchise prepare for an epic faceoff that will ensure any one team’s survival in this format.
let’s look at the 4 players from KXIP and MI who can be the key performers for their franchise
KXIP’s decision of going in for Andrew Tye has really proven to be a wise decision for their side. The 31 year old pacer is at present the purple cap holder. In 12 matches , he has picked up 20 wickets with an economy of 8 with two 4 wicket hauls , the best being 4/34 against RR.
KXIP will surely be looking up to Tye to dry up the run rate , at the same time choke the opposition’s batting lineup thereby rendering them useless. Andrew Tye’s inclusion into the squad at Rs 7.2 crore did turn out to be right investment for the franchise.
The struggling Punjab based franchise needs to device some strategies to restrict the opposition’s total under chasing limits . With the experience of T20 cricket Andrew Tye brings in, he can certainly play a major role in their upcoming do or die match against MI.
Without an iota of doubt , KL Rahul has been the match winner for KXIP this season . He has carried the burden of team on his shoulders and carried the team from strength to strength. Through his performances, he has garnered the praise from many stalwarts of the game .
In 12 matches, he has amassed 588 runs at a strike rate of 162 and would be expected to lead the side in similar fashion in the remaining matches. Kl Rahul has proved himself to be worth every single penny spent on him.
Among the Pandya brothers, Hardik has given quite a few good performances both with the ball as well as with the bat. Be it steering the ball away to the boundary line or ripping apart the opposition’s batting lineup, he has proven himself to be handy in both the occasions.
In the 11 matches , Hardik has scored 224 runs at a strike rate of 135 along with an average of 32. His contributions with the ball are also worth noticing. He has taken 18 wickets at an economy of 8.74 . Hardik’s ability to go for big hits under pressure situations can ooze out the pressure from MI’s side to some extent.
The kind of talent and potential he possess, it would be interesting to see how he changes the course of the game in MI’s favour.
The Jamaican T20 legend hasn’t had consistent performances this season. With KXIP under trouble, it might be just the right time for Chris Gayle to go back into his aggressive hitting mode. In 9 matches, he has amassed 350 runs at an average of 50 , with a strike rate of 146.44.
If it is his day, Chris Gayle can turn out to be a nightmare for the bowlers. The T20 legend started off the season with a bang, but lost his momentum somewhere in the middle. If MI don’t find a way to dominate this guy , then they might be under some serious trouble . Gayle’s ability to win games single handedly is something every franchise is fully aware of.
It would be interesting to see how this clash of titans might actually turn out.