What makes the IPL and T20 game appeal to the masses is the big-hitting, the near non-stop excitement, the blink-and-you-will-miss-a-six nature of the format. So, when the Kings XI Punjab host the Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL 2016 match, fans can expect two of the biggest hitters of the sport, two players made for the T20 format – Glenn Maxwell and Andre Russell -- to light up Mohali on Tuesday.
Maxwell showed he is slowly but surely returning to his best by guiding KXIP to a comprehensive win, their first this season, over the Rising Pune Supergiants. When Maxwell fires, there are very few better players to watch in the IPL, purely for that unpredictability factor.
You know a six might be coming, you know that willow is going to tonk the white ball, but you just don't know how. Will it be a reverse-sweep, or a simple slog sweep? Or maybe it will be a conventional cover drive, something Maxwell is equally capable of, or one of those massive shots straight down the ground. When it comes to Maxwell, unpredictability is the name of the game.
As a Kings XI fan, all you can hope is that Maxwell stays at the crease for about 20-30 balls at least, because if he does, it is going to be worth the price of your ticket. The same goes if you are a KKR fan and you end up watching Andre Russell do his thing with the willow.
While Maxwell is the innovator, Russell is the power-hitter, the one who can tonk the balls out of the ground with ease, by just standing at the crease and swinging. When Russell gets going and starts wielding that willow like a club, no bowler is likely to be spared.
KXIP and KKR are both coming off impressive wins in IPL 2016, and while the latter will start this game as the favourite, owing to their overall record in the league and the fact that they have won two of their three games, if Maxwell gets going, it could end up being a great equaliser. But then, if Russell goes smash-bang, get your hard hats on, sixes could end up being the defining factor in this IPL 2016 match.