Delhi Daredevils travel to Mohali today, where they face home team Kings XI Punjab in a battle of the bottom dwellers. Both teams are desperately looking for a win to jumpstart their campaign – Delhi have won two of their seven matches, and a loss here will end their already wafer-thin chances of making it to the playoffs, while Punjab have done slightly better in three victories off eight matches. Both teams are coming off comprehensive defeats (Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Punjab by 26 runs while Delhi lost to Kolkata by 7 wickets). DD are last on the points table, while Punjab are a poor 6th. Punjab do not hold a home advantage either – their last match against the Knightriders was the first they played at Mohali this season, so they are yet to register a victory at their “real” home ground.
KXIP found hope in Shaun Marsh against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who scored a whirlwind 84 off 62 balls before a batting collapse caused the Punjab side to fll short by 26 runs. They would also look forward to the return of Hashim Amla, who missed Kings XI’s last game with a hamstring injury. Amla attended an optional training on Saturday and has “a chance to play on Sunday”, according to team-mate Shaun Marsh. However, what would worry skipper Maxwell is their bowling that has let them down repeatedly. The medium-pacers are struggling, the spinners are mediocre and the fast bowlers non-existent. The team has clearly identified that the bowling department is a problem area – in their five defeats this season, the bowlers have leaked runs at 10.04 – and it is with a view to address this that KXIP have fielded a different bowling combination in each of their games. However, time is fast running out, and KXIP need to find a bowling attack that can keep their opponents in check.
DD have the advantage of an extra game in hand, but they need to take off from the bottom of the table. The team will be boosted by the arrival of two-time World T20 winner Marlon Samuels (who won the Man of the Match in both the World T20 Finals). The skipper Zaheer Khan suffered a hamstring injury in the previous match, and if he hasn’t recovered sufficiently, the Daredevils could feel his absence on the leadership front and for the experience he lends to the bowling attack.
30 April 2017, 1600 Hrs IST
IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 19, Kings XI Punjab Won – 10, Delhi Daredevils Won – 9.
Kings XI Punjab: Glenn Maxwell (captain), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Shaun Marsh, Darren Sammy, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Nikhil Naik, Ishant Sharma, Armaan Jaffer, Martin Guptill, Eoin Morgan, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Arman Jaffer, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, T Natrajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Mann, Rahul Tewatia.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (captain), Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), CV Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings.
- Delhi has a world class fast bowling attack in Zaheer Khan, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Corey Anderson. Skipper Zaheer Khan will hope to restrict Punjab to a reasonable score, and chasing may be a good option considering Punjab’s poor bowling attack.
- Kings XI Punjab have taken the fewest wickets of all teams in VIVO IPL 2017; in their eight matches so far, they have picked up only 36 wickets. They have also started with a different bowling attack in each of the matches they have lost. Their bowling in disarray is one of the prime reasons they are at the bottom of the table.
- For Delhi, it will be important to have a consistent show in their batting. They have had good starts in their innings and their losses against Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai have been primarily due to their inability to force the pace during middle overs.