The Kings XI Punjab are on a roll with three impressive wins over Kolkata, Pune and Delhi under their belt. It is just the kind of rhythm a team looks for as it tackles the way ahead. The best part of these wins is the manner in which their young lot is contributing. If the other youngsters can follow that then the Punjab team can go all the way.
The skipper Adam Gilchrist is struggling a bit, but his kind of batting is such that when it comes off, it will be spectacular. It is like a dormant volcano and when it erupts it will burn all those in the vicinity. So even as other skippers have excused themselves and left themselves out of their teams, it will be hard to envisage Gilchrist doing so.
Mandeep Singh is beginning to do justice to his potential and if Manan Vohra can see how Mandeep is hitting straight and not across the line, then even he may get more runs than he is doing at the moment. David Hussey keeps a cool head like his brother Mike and is an invaluable player for the team.
Their new ball attack also is top class with Praveen Kumar showing his worth by bowling more maiden overs in the IPL. Every dot ball is a big plus, but if a bowler can bowl a maiden then it is even better.
The Kolkata Knight Riders just have not got going and are lacking inspiration. Maybe the presence of their iconic owner Shahrukh Khan will galvanise them and lift their spirits for they are looking listless and clueless on the field. SRK has been missing from most of the games, so his presence should make a difference.
What has been most disappointing is their fielding where not only have they dropped catches but also conceded extra runs with sloppy pick ups and wild throwing and this despite the hiring of the Indian team fielding coach.
Gambhir is looking frustrated and agitated and that does not help for that puts the players, especially the Indian players, under more pressure. They have tried various opening combinations, but nothing is working for them and they may have to go to Brendon McCullum to get them off to an electrifying start.
Kolkata are running out of matches and need a turnaround quickly if they are to get into the knockouts. The going looks tough for them but that is when the tough get going.
Professional Management Group