KXIP looks to return to winning ways against MI

In the city of the Holkars, Kings XI Punjab takes on Mumbai Indians in an IPL clash at the Holkar stadium on Thursday.

Thursday will again be an opportunity for the both of them to stay in the limelight.   -  K. Pichumani

In the city of the Holkars, Kings XI Punjab takes on Mumbai Indians in an IPL clash at the Holkar stadium on Thursday.

The results so far show that both sides fare well at chasing, notwithstanding the fact that Kings XI has lost batting second in its last couple of games. The upside is that it has won chasing in the two games that it has already played here, and that is something that Mumbai bowling coach Shane Bond is well aware of.

“Even though the boundaries are reasonably small here, the first-innings scores in the last two games here were around 150-160, and Punjab has chased them down comfortably,” he said.

Dew may not be a factor on Thursday, reasoned Bond; it was “pretty hot and dry”.

“It has a nice grass-cover. I think the bounce here is something we are going to have to adjust to. We are not expecting the same sort of bounce as at the Wankhede,” Bond said of the wicket.

And, as widely as it is held that an annual T20 league is overkill and that the fans are getting jaded, there is still spirited consumption. There was a vendor watching an IPL match during peak business hour at a bustling street-food bazaar here.

The mass appeal aside, the IPL has allowed fringe and upcoming players gain credence and loom large; like how Kings XI’s Manan Vohra and Mumbai’s Nitish Rana have grabbed attention this year. They are both their team’s highest run-getters so far.

“This season has been an unique opportunity for him (Manan Vohra),” said Kings XI’s assistant coach Mithun Manhas. “Over the last few seasons, he has played second fiddle to (Virender) Sehwag and (Shaun) Marsh. But, this time, he has a chance to play his natural game, and that’s a huge plus for him.

“He has a lot of potential, but it will be his consistency that will define him.”

Thursday will again be an opportunity for the both of them to stay in the limelight.