Kings XI choose Dharamsala as second home

Dharamsala will host all three of Kings XI’s matches that were shifted out of Nagpur © BCCI

Dharamsala to host three IPL matches

Kings XI Punjab have chosen Dharamsala as their second home venue for the 2016 IPL. Kings XI were scheduled to play three of their seven home matches in Nagpur, with the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra stadium in Mohali hosting the remaining four.

However, the prevalent water scarcity in Maharashtra, which has been hit by drought, and the Bombay High Court subsequently ruling that all IPL matches be shifted out of the state, had forced Kings XI to consider an alternate venue. The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium will now host all the three matches that have been shifted out.

The franchise expressed their gratitude to the Himachal Pradesh state association for their support through an official statement on Thursday. “We are happy to announce that Kings XI Punjab will be playing our three home games in Dharamshala,” the statement said. “We are grateful and thankful to the HPCA for their support in helping us make this transition seamless at such short notice.”

Dhawan’s form not a concern, says Laxman

VVS Laxman, the Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor, has dismissed concerns surrounding the form of Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan, who has endured a lean patch, hasn’t registered a single double-digit score, totalling just 16 runs in three innings in IPL 2016.

“Shikhar’s form is not a worry for Sunrisers,” Laxman said on Wednesday. “He is a gifted player, and when he plays well, he finishes off the match. He is a match-winning player.”

Sunrisers, however, have had a few positives on the bowling front, most notably Mustafizur Rahman, the Bangladesh left-arm seamer. Mustafizur had returns of 2 for 26 in four overs in Sunrisers’ opening match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where the hosts blasted 227 for 4, and was the only bowler with an economy rate of under seven. He took 1 for 32 against Mumbai Indians to help set up Sunrisers’ seven-wicket win, their first of the tournament.

“He (Mustafizur) is a smart bowler. He is exceptionally talented, he has a plenty of variations with the new and old ball, and more important, he is very consistent,” Laxman said.

Sunrisers’ batting hasn’t exactly fired in unison and David Warner has done much of the heavy lifting. Laxman commended the captain even as he called on the rest to step up. “Warner has been in fantastic form and he played many match-winning knocks, but other batsmen, particularly domestic players coming in the middle order need to contribute more with the bat,” Laxman said. “If the openers and middle order manage to click, then the team certainly enjoys a comfortable position.”

Laxman also had a word of appreciation for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma and left-arm medium pacer Barinder Sran for their contributions to the win against Mumbai Indians. Laxman put the defeats in the first two matches down to improper execution of plans and exuded confidence ahead of Thursday’s clash against Gujarat Lions, who are undefeated in the competition.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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