IPL 2018, DD vs KXIP: Who will win today's match between Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab
Who will come out on top as Gambhir takes on Ashwin?
It will be the battle of two extremes as Delhi Daredevils take on Kings XI Punjab in the 22nd match of IPL 2018. Kings XI Punjab are level on points with No.1 ranked Chennai Super Kings while Delhi Daredevils are level on points with Mumbai Indians but are at the bottom of the table thanks to their inferior net run-rate.
It has been a contrasting tale for both sides in this IPL. While the openers have been exemplary for Kings XI, DD have had no consistency in that department. Kings XI have excellent variety in the bowling department and that has helped their cause but DD's bowling has been ineffective across condition.
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KXIP have won four out of their five games this season while DD have won just one. KXIP hold the head-to-head edge over the Daredevils whether it is Delhi or at home. So it will be interesting to see who will come out on top in this battle between two destructive batting line-ups? Here is a look at what might happen as Gautam Gambhir takes on Ravichandran Ashwin.
Date: April 22
Date: April 23
Venue: Ferozshah Kotla, Delhi
Time: 20:00 IST
If Delhi Daredevils bat first
Predicted score: 180+
The biggest concern for DD is the form of their captain, Gautam Gambhir. Although he got off to the ideal start, scoring a fifty on his return to Delhi Daredevils in the opening game of this season's IPL against KXIP, he hasn't been the same since. Perhaps, that bowling line-up could get him going again.
As DD really need their captain to contribute with the bat. Jason Roy, too, got off to a brilliant start, winning the game against MI but has since then struggled to get going. Glenn Maxwell has flattered to deceive so far and the only constant run-scoring threat in the side has been Rishab Pant.
In the 5 games he has played this season, Pant has scored 223 runs at an average of almost 45 and a strike rate in excess of 175. Irrespective of the conditions, he has flourished and he will look to continue that against KXIP. But if DD are to post a competitive total, they will need the rest of the batting line-up to contribute.
Against a Kings XI bowling line-up that has excellent variety, that will not be easy but Delhi will need to score at least 180 if they are to have a good chance of coming out on top in this encounter.
If Kings XI Punjab bat first
Predicted score: 185+
Only right batsmen have scored more than 200 runs in this IPL and KXIP are the only team to have two such batsmen in their ranks. No prizes for guessing who those two are as KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have been decimating bowling line-ups and ensuring that they are redefining the meaning of what it means to get off to a flyer.
While KL Rahul has two fifties to his name, Chris Gayle has three successive 50+ scores (including a century) and that is the first time that the destructive West Indian opener has done that in the IPL. While those two have been simply sensational this season, the supporting cast hasn't done much.
Although they haven't had to do a great deal, the likes of Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh have failed even when they have got the opportunity. However, Karun Nair has taken his with both hands and is averaging almost 35 and batting at a strike rate in excess of 140.
Delhi Daredevils' bowling line-up doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence, however, an in-form Trent Boult, who can swing the ball both ways will arguably be KXIP's biggest threat. Rahul Tewatia has been a revelation so far this season and it will be interesting to see how he fares against a formidable batting line-up. With the batting power KXIP boast of and the small ground at Delhi, they should really be targeting a total in excess of 185.
In a battle between two strong batting line-ups, it will end up coming down to which bowling attack can restrict the other side to a manageable total. Both sides have racked up big scores in this IPL and while DD have had the runs shared between various players, Kings XI Punjab have relied primarily on their openers. It will be interesting to see what happens if they fail but the fact that they have a better bowling line-up than DD, even if the batting side of things is evenly matched, will make them favorites going into the game.
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