Delhi Capitals (DC) are yet to taste the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL), as they await their elusive title. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), too, are yet to win the same. While DC finished in the fourth spot last season, KXIP finished sixth, as both aim for a winning start.
The 13th edition of the IPL has officially begun after months of delay and uncertainties, amidst the tough circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. As the tournament is off to a successful start in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the second time, the second match of the tournament would involve Delhi Capitals, taking on Kings XI Punjab, at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
DC are one of the three sides to have never won the IPL to date, along with KXIP. Both the teams would be eager to change their fortunes this time around. While DC are being backed as the dark horses, KXIP continue to be the underdogs. Nonetheless, here we present the match preview.
Squad composition: DC are one such side who are bolstered with some of the top players, that include some of the fine youngsters and veterans, especially in the batting department, while their other departments are evenly balanced. As for KXIP, they do have some big names, but their tradition of not clicking as a unit has always been their drawback.
Previous form: As far as their form is concerned from the previous season, DC would be somewhat booming in confidence, following their commendable finish in the fourth spot, as they are most likely to better it this term. As for KXIP, they managed to finish in the sixth spot. Nonetheless, with a fresh new season ahead, they need to regroup and start from scratch.
Head-to-head: Analysing their head-on clashes to date, both have met each other on 24 occasions, with KXIP winning 14 and DC winning 10. The two sides have never met in the UAE. Although KXIP might have the upper hand historically, going by the current form, it is the other way.
Weather and pitch report: With temperature likely to be around 33 celsius, it would be hot and humid, along with chances of dew later in the evening. The pitch is somewhat batting-friendly, with shorter boundaries. However, as the game progresses, it tends to get slow, thereby assisting spinners. Also, with dew coming in, the team batting second would be at advantage.
DC: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Keemo Paul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada.
KXIP: KL Rahul (c & wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Sheldon Cottrel, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ishan Porel.
Batsmen: Chris Gayle, Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw — Gayle is known to give an explosive start, as he is a must in the side. Iyer gives stability at number three, along with Shaw, who can play in a composed manner at number four.
Wicketkeeper: Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul (c) — With the only full-time keeper in the side, Pant is the ideal one, while his sluggish nature is sure to earn him enough points. Rahul would mostly act as Gayle's partner as an opener and would be the perfect skipper, as both make an ideal pair.
All-rounders: Glenn Maxwell and Ravichandran Ashwin (vc) — Maxwell is known for his explosive nature, even in the middle-order, while he can play as per the conditions, especially in UAE. As for Ashwin, besides his spin bowling, he can come in handy with the bat when needed, as he is the vice-captain.
Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami and Krishnappa Gowtham — Rabada was impressive last season with his pace, and is likely to continue with the same momentum, as would Shami, wth his impressive seam bowling. Meanwhile, Mishra's spin would ideally make an impact on the slow UAE tracks, along with Gowtham's off-breaks.
Players to make an impact:
Chris Gayle: No matter what the track it is, if the ball is in his slot, Gayle would not turn the offer down to dispatch it into the stands.
KL Rahul: The skipper, who would be leading in the IPL for the first time, will have pressure. Nonetheless, his fine batting form makes him a must-watch.
R Ashwin: With the UAE pitches know to assist spinners, and Ashwin being a veteran, he is the ideal man to spin it away from KXIP.
Kagiso Rabada: The pacer, who was DC's top wicket-taker last season, can bowl yorkers and is an ideal death bowler.
Last Updated 19, Sep 2020, 6:08 PM