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Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders- The West take on the East

What is up with this fantasy cricket? Read below & find out.

A brief introduction to Fantasy Cricket :

If there is something more than millions of gods and tons of festivals for us Indians, it is none other than the love and passion for watching, playing, debating and cherishing about the Indian Cricket Team and that’s quite evident with the excitement that people have before any big tournament kicks off. Cricket is viewed by 2.5 Billion fans worldwide. And in India, there is a huge craze for cricket. This beautiful sport offers an incredible opportunity for fantasy cricket apps to thrill this huge audience. The whole audience can enjoy playing the game with their fantasy team using real players. From IPL to T20, players have a great chance to play their favourite cricket game in different formats and win exciting cash prizes. Fantasy Cricket is an online fantasy cricket game where a user can create their team of 11 players from a total pool of 25-30 players from an upcoming match. Once the match starts, the users will get points for their 11 players based on their team’s performance in the real match. Points will be given for runs, wickets, catches etc. The user decides the batsmen, bowlers, wicketkeepers and even the power-player for your team. It is equivalent to being a manager of your favourite team. If predicting nail-biting matches is your forte, then trying out Fantasy Cricket is a must for you. 

History of the Tournament:

Since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League has turned out to be one of the most cash-rich leagues to participate in. It consists of 8 teams across 8 cities across India. Altogether 13 teams have played in the past 11 seasons of IPL. The inaugural edition was won by Rajasthan Royals. Mumbai Indians have been the most successful team of the IPL, having won the prized possession 4 times. Chennai Super Kings have won it thrice. Kolkata Knight Riders, being a side associated with huge celebrity status owing to its owner’s success, have not made their stardom affect their performance yet. The knights from the east have won the title twice, once in 2012 and 2014. They have made sure that they made the qualifiers every single season after that until 2019, where they bowed out of the tournament securing 5th position in the points table. On the other hand, the Kings XI Punjab from the west have always been the underdogs barring that 2014 season where Maxwell and Miller were breathing fire with the bat which took them to the finals for the first time only to lose it to their arch-rivals from the East- The Kolkata Knight Riders, by a mere margin of 3 wickets. Notably for Punjab Adam Gilchrist imitated Harbhajan Singh after taking his wicket on his first ball in his last ever IPL match. Gilchrist had previously played with Deccan Chargers and went on to win the title with them in 2009. He has scored over 2000 runs for two franchises across six seasons whereas the Knight from Kolkata in the form of Brendon McCullum went on all gears in the inaugural match of the IPL scoring a mammoth score of 158* individually. Events like these have made IPL a constant in the souls of the young cricket fans.

Players to watch out for:

Kolkata Knight Riders are never short of their knights in shining armour. Their captain cum wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik is someone who leads from the front. He was the top run-scorer of the squad with 498 runs from 16 innings in 2018. He also had a decent season with the bat in 2019 which gave him a berth in the India World Cup team for the Mega Event of Cricket World Cup in 2019. Sunil Narine’s explosive start always gives the head start they need in the match. He has been one of the most successful mysterious bowlers in the history of the IPL with a career economy of less than 7 in it. The devastating duo of Lynn and Narine as the pinch hitter at the top can easily break the confidence of even the fiercest bowling side. Andre Russell or now more popularly known as “Andre The Giant “ is one of the most destructive batsmen on his day. He scored 510 runs at the strike rate of 204.81 which included a humongous 52 sixes. He has always been the trump card for KKR in the past 3 seasons.

Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, has been a team which has never been short on glamour and style quotient owing to the presence of their co-owner Preity Zinta. They boast some of the biggest names in the sport. The team comprises of Chris Gayle who has been amongst the top 10 run-getters of IPL history. He ensures that there is no shortage of fireworks early on. His partner on the other end-KL Rahul is a batsman who has made his name and proved his mettle with some consistent and blistering knocks in a dire situation. He finished up as a runner up in the 2019 season in the highest run-getters list scoring 593 runs at an average of 53.90 and a strike rate of 135.38. The romance of Andrew Tye and Kings XI started in 2018 when the suitors in Punjab bought him. They were heavily benefitted by this addition as Andrew Tye went on to pick up 24 wickets in 14 games, to win the purple cap that year. He has always been on point and consistent over the past few seasons.

Current Happenings and Updates about the Teams:

Both teams have been gearing up for the IPL Auction set to be taking place on 19th December 2019, in Kolkata. Brendon McCullum has been appointed as the new head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders replacing the outgoing Jacques Kallis. Former Australian batsman David Hussey has also been appointed as their chief mentor. He has also represented the Knight Riders from 2008 to 2010. Former New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Mills will join hands with McCullum as a bowling coach. Notably, KKR let go of their long-serving batsmen in Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn. With their base set with a strategic core comprising of Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana we can’t wait to see how strongly KKR picks their team ahead of the new season in the auction. The Knight Riders will go into the auction with the second-highest purse of Rs 35.65 crores.

Kings XI Punjab has made a few notable changes in their coaching staff and have appointed former Indian captain Anil Kumble as their new head coach who replaces Mike Hesson. The major turnover in the team has been the trading of their captain Ravichandran Ashwin to Delhi Capitals. Ashwin led KXIP for two seasons and both the player and franchise have parted ways amicably. He has been among the top performers of IPL with an economy rate of 6.79 in 139 games. In the list of players released by the team, David Miller is the most notable name. The KXIP has kept the rest of the core by retaining the likes of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman. KXIP will go into the auction with a whopping amount of 42.70 crores which is the highest among all the 8 teams.

 Highlights about recent matches:

 The battle of The West vs The East has been played 25 times with KKR emerging victorious on 17 of them. Former Indian player Gautam Gambhir has been the highest run-getter in this face-off with 492 runs and Sunil Narine leading the bowling chart with 26 wickets. Notably, in 2018 KKR posted a mammoth total of 245/6 on the board which was their highest ever in 11 years against KXIP at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. Wriddhiman Saha scored a blistering 115* off 55 balls in the 2014 finale against KKR which KKR went on to win by a margin of 3 wickets. Kolkata Knight Riders are unbeaten in their last 3 matches against the Kings XI Punjab. The last match which was played in Mohali in May was an easy win for KKR by 7 wickets and with 12 balls to spare as Shubhman Gill lead the team from the front with his compact innings of 65* off 49 balls.

Squad Lists:

KXIP

The players retained in the team are KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Chris Gayle, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar and Murugan Ashwin.

Traded out: Jagdeesha Suchith and Krishnappa Gowtham.

Left: Varun Chakravarthy, Andrew Tye, Sam Curran, Simran Singh, David Miller, Moises Henriques and Agnivesh Ayachi

Players bought in the auction: Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhsimran Singh

Squad Strength: 25 ( 17 Indian, 8 Overseas )

KKR

Present: Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi

Left: Chris Lynn, Carlos Brathwaite, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Nikhil Naik, KC Cariappa, Joe Denly, Srikant Munde, Yarra Prithviraj, Anrich Nortje

Players bought in the auction : Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi, Pat Cummins, Chris Green, Varun Chakravarty, Tom Banton, Pravin Tambe, M.Siddharth, Nikhil Naik

Squad Strength: 23 ( 15 Indian, 8 Overseas)

MPL Teamhttps://www.mpl.live/
MPL Team - Enjoy reading gaming, fantasy, poker, and rummy articles by the MPL team on the MPL blog.

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