Delhi Daredevils (DD) produced a dominant all-round performance at home in the first meeting between these two teams, to beat Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 51 runs. Sam Billings, who hasn’t played the last two matches for Delhi, set the tone for the Delhi innings and the match too, with a stylish and authoritative 55 (40). And, after Delhi’s batsmen helped their team post 188/6 batting first, the bowlers were more than good enough to win the spoils.
Delhi will start tonight’s match as the favourites, not only because they won the earlier fixture but they are also the better side on paper.
Form guide: KXIP vs DD
Kings XI: LWLLL (from left to right, most recent result first; current position on the points table: 6th)
Daredevils: LLLLW (current position on the points table: 8th)
KXIP vs DD Head-to-head
In 19 meetings between Kings XI and Delhi so far, Punjab lead the head-to-head record by 10-9.
At the now PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Kings XI have lost only once to Delhi in four matches.
Match 36: KXIP vs DD Playing XI
Kings XI’s chances of reaching the IPL 2017 playoffs hang by a thread, having lost five of their last six matches. With just six points to their name and with six matches left to play, the imperatives for Glenn Maxwell and co. are to get their combination right and get their act together quickly.
Kings XI’s problem this season, like a couple of other teams, has been getting their playing combination and the balance of their side right. They have tried playing four overseas batsmen, but on the instances they have done so, the bowling has understandably been weakened. Either way, though, Punjab’s bowling attack is among the weaker ones in the league.
What has, however, been surprising is the team management’s reluctance to unleash Matt Henry and just add more potency to the bowling attack.
Kings XI have now gotten to a stage where they must beef their bowling up, and the only way they can is by including the Kiwi pacer into the playing XI. Henry’s inclusion might well happen at the expense of Eoin Morgan.
Hashim Amla and Thangarasu Natarajan missed Punjab’s last match due to an injury and soreness, respectively. Amla, according to his team-mate, has a chance to play against Delhi and was part of Kings XI’s optional training session on the match eve.
Taking these considerations into account, here’s KXIP’s probable playing XI vs DD: 1. Glenn Maxwell (c), 2. Hashim Amla/Martin Guptill, 3. Manan Vohra, 4. Shaun Marsh, 5. Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 6. Axar Patel, 7. KC Cariappa, 8. Mohit Sharma, 9. Ishant Sharma, 10. Sandeep Sharma/Swapnil Singh/Varun Aaron, and 11. Eoin Morgan/Matt Henry
Actual playing XI for Punjab: 1. Glenn Maxwell (c), 2. Hashim Amla, 3. Manan Vohra, 4. Shaun Marsh, 5. Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 6. Axar Patel, 7. Thangarasu Natarajan, 8. Mohit Sharma, 9. Sandeep Sharma, 10. Varun Aaron, and 11. Martin Guptill
Delhi have, like Kings XI, fallen away after making a good start to the season. While their bowling attack has performed to potential, the young batting line-up has let the team down on multiple occasions.
Sam Billings, as aforementioned, has not played the last couple of matches and the Englishman had been in good form with the bat, providing good starts to the Delhi innings along with Sanju Samson at the top of the order.
Corey Anderson has failed to perform as an all-rounder and Delhi too are at a stage of their season which necessitates them to think on their feet and come up with good decisions. Anderson has had his chance to prove himself, but having not come good and failed to help the team out, the New Zealander probably has to be sacrificed.
Billings, unless he is injured or is suffering from illness, should come back into the side and resume the opening partnership with Samson.
In addition, Zaheer Khan suffered a hamstring strain while bowling his second over against Kolkata Knight Riders and didn’t bowl any further in a match which his team lost comprehensively by seven wickets. We do not know yet if the left-arm seamer is fit to play. But if he isn’t or doesn’t want to risk himself, then Mohammed Shami might return to the DD’s playing XI.
Here’s what I believe will be DD’s playing XI vs Kings XI: 1. Sam Billings, 2. Sanju Samson, 3. Karun Nair, 4. Shreyas Iyer, 5. Rishabh Pant (wk), 6. Chris Morris, 7. Kagiso Rabada, 8. Amit Mishra (c), 9. Zaheer Kan/Mohammed Shami, 10. Ankit Bawne, and 11. Pat Cummins
Actual playing XI for Delhi: 1. Corey Anderson, 2. Sanju Samson, 3. Karun Nair (c), 4. Shreyas Iyer, 5. Rishabh Pant (wk), 6. Chris Morris, 7. Kagiso Rabada, 8. Amit Mishra, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Shahbaz Nadeem, and 11. Sam Billings