x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Chawla can help revive struggling Kings XI Punjab

Piyush Chawla's inclusion in India's World Twenty20 squad should give him extra motivation to bowl the struggling Kings XI Punjab back into contention in the IPL.

Piyush Chawla's inclusion in India's 15-man squad for the World Twenty20, starting in the West Indies next month, should give him extra motivation to bowl the struggling Kings XI Punjab back into contention in the IPL. The Kings XI are lagging at the bottom of the IPL table with just one win and they face another struggling side, the Kolkata Knight Riders - who have two more points under their belt - in tonight's game in Mohali, Punjab.

The 21-year-old leg-spinner's call-up is his first in two years, and his IPL team are hoping he will respond with a performance to justify his national team selection. "The senior professionals in the side are setting a good example and the young Indian players are pulling themselves well, yet we have not converted them into a team performance," said the Punjab captain, Kumar Sangakkara. "We had flashes of brilliance, flashes of good work and then patches of really bad cricket that turn games. We hope to put the past behind us and start winning, and hopefully from this game."

Meanwhile, the Knight Riders' captain, Sourav Ganguly has concerns about his team's batting. "We are falling behind by 10 to 15 runs. We need to put up better scores on the board and improve on our fielding," he said. "It is hard work in every game. We started off well but haven't accelerated. In this format of cricket, everything matters like a misfield or an overthrow. "When we analyse the defeats, these matters crop up. So hopefully we can pull those little bits and get back to our winning ways again."

Kolkata's young frontline fast bowler, Ishant Sharma, was meanwhile not included in India's World Twenty20 squad. apassela@thenational.ae Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders, 6.30pm, CricOne