Indian Premier League, 2018
Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils
The Big Picture
So, here we are! After weeks of anticipation, analysis, and euphoria, the Indian Premier League is finally here. The 2018 season with all the subtle additions like DRS, Mid-season Transfer, is expected to be bigger and better.
On Sunday, Kings XI Punjab will take on the Delhi Daredevils in a high voltage clash at the iconic P.C.A Stadium in Mohali.
Where: P.C.A Stadium, Mohali
When: 08 April 2018, 4:00 PM
The pitch at Mohali over the years has provided a riveting contest between the bat and the ball. Teams batting first have won 37.7 percent of the games whereas teams batting second have won 60.7 percent of games in the last ten years in T20s.
Team Analysis and Preview
Kings XI Punjab
The Kings XI Punjab have been the perennial under-achievers in the IPL. They started well in 2008 where they made it into the top four and then another brilliant one in 2014, where they entered the finals for the very first time under George Bailey’s leadership.
But, just as it seemed, the franchise had finally settled itself as three unsuccessful stints followed in 2015, 2016 and 2017, forcing the team owners to retain just Axar Patel and start again with a clean slate.
In the auctions that ensued back in January, KXIP managed to assemble an enviable squad boasting a plethora of match-winners and a strong core of T20 specialists.
Besides all the changes, one refreshing change that KXIP has brought about in their squad is that in Karun Nair, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch, they have a plethora of options when it comes to opening pair combinations.
A wicket-keeper's role assumes paramount importance as the format of the games gets shorter. This is where the Kings XI Punjab seem to have missed a point. They have just two keeping options in Aksdeep Nath and KL Rahul.
While Akshdeep is a specialized keeper-batsman, he has not yet set the stage on fire with his glove work. On the other side of the spectrum is KL Rahul, who has been guilty of lapses while keeping for the RCB in the past.
The absence of a proven keeper in a crunch the may turn out to be the nemesis of KXIP as the tournament goes deep.
In the fast-bowling department, while KXIP does boast of Andrew Tye, one of the best T20 death bowlers going around, they lack depth when it comes to Indian fast bowling stocks.
While Left-arm fast bowler Barinder Iran has been inconsistent and plagued with injuries at the same time, it remains to be seen whether Mohit Sharma, with all his experience at his disposal, can put his hands up as the senior fast bowler.
The way Sharma and Iran fare, will probably define the journey of KXIP in IPL 2018.
Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (WK), Yuvraj Singh, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, R Ashwin (C), Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye
For starters, the Delhi Daredevils have their talismanic skipper back in Gautam Gambhir. In the batting department, Delhi has got some explosive batsmen in Munro, Rishabh Pant, and Shreyas Iyer.
Under-19 superstars in Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra are also the part of the franchise this year.
On the bowling front, they have Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult in the squad, along with the likes of Mohammad Shami, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem and Jayant Yadav.
While DD has an explosive line-up in Pant, Maxwell, and Iyer, it is the relative inexperience in their middle-order that may come to haunt them as the tournament wears on.
In terms of fast-bowling stocks, Delhi was dealt with a body blow when the tearaway fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was ruled out for 3-months due to injury. It leaves a massive responsibilty on Chris Morris and Mohammed Shami to lead the attack.
Gautam Gambhir (capt), Colin Munro, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Daniel Christian, Vijay Shankar, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami
Where to watch Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils?
The viewers can watch the match live on Star Sports 1/HD and can also live stream the match on Hotstar.com