Yuvraj: Bowlers must deliver

The Kings XI Punjab are looking for a vastly improved performances from their bowlers when they play the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kingsmead on Friday.

The Kings XI have been unlucky in this year’s IPL after their first two matches against the Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders were interrupted by rain. Nevertheless, their bowlers underperformed in attempting to defend revised totals and their opponents achieved their wins with relative ease.

‘We have batted well in both games,’ said Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh. ‘We just need to get the bowling sorted out. We’ve played just two games and we were in the same position last year, so hopefully we can go and pick things up.’

While Yuvraj was hoping to have Brett Lee and Sree Sreesanth available soon that seems unlikely. Sreesanth’s stress fracture is set to sideline him until the semi-finals while Lee, who has a foot injury, is only likely to return in a week.

Kevin Pietersen’s Bangalore side have slipped from the lofty heights of their opening day win over last year’s winners, the Rajasthan Royals, to the depths of despair after back-to-back defeats against the Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers. In the process they conceded 179 runs against the Chennai Super Kings and 184 against the Deccan Chargers.

However unlike Yuvraj, Pietersen has called on his batsmen to deliver more. ‘I think if we can sort out our batting in the first six overs, things will be OK,’ he said.

Bangalore have relied heavily on veteran Rahul Dravid, who tops the IPL run-scoring charts with 134 in three innings. However the rest of their batsmen, including Pietersen, have been a disappointment.