IPL 2018, KXIP vs DD Match Prediction: Who will win match between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils
Change is in the air as Kings XI Punjab take on Delhi Daredevils in the second match of IPL 2018 at Mohali on Sunday (April 8). Two new captains will face off in a battle between two of the strongest batting line-ups in the competition.
The bowlers might be considered an afterthought in a match between such high-quality batting sides but the game is likely to come down which side can execute their plans with the ball.
Gautam Gambhir will want to mark his return to the Delhi Daredevils with a victory but getting one over newly-appointed Kings XI skipper Ravichandran Ashwin will be far from straightforward. With Colin Munro, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Rishabh Pant, both sides possess plenty of destructive openers who can change the complexion of the game without eating up too many balls.
A new-look Kings XI side that has reinforced the batting while adding plenty of variety with the ball, which now includes a left-arm pacer, mystery spinners and the new master of variety (Andrew Tye). That is even before mentioning about Ravichandran Ashwin, who will be keen to impress in his first game in charge.
On the opposite side, there is Gautam Gambhir, who will be keen to reinforce his credentials as one of the finest captains in the tournament. In Chris Morris, Pant, Boult and Munro, he has plenty of options at his disposal and it will be interesting to see the combination that he and Ricky Ponting opt to go with.
Let's take a look at how the match might turn out:
Date: April 7
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Time: 16:00 IST
If Kings XI Punjab bat first
Predicted score: 180+
The Mohali pitch is usually a batting paradise with the bowlers merely making up the numbers more often than not. With the likes of Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul as options to open the innings, the powerplay is sure to be a high scoring one, irrespective of who KXIP choose to open with.
While Gayle might not be the player that he once was, he can still take the game away from the opposition in the matter of a few overs. With Finch unavailable for the tournament opener, expect Gayle to look to start his KXIP career with a bang.
With in-form batsmen like Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal and the dangerous duo of Yuvraj Singh and David Milller in the middle-order, they will looking to capitalize towards the end of the innings.
Considering the batting firepower that they possess, it would a huge surprise if they don't end up with more than 180 on a docile track that is brilliant for batting. The Delhi bowling line-up has suffered a huge loss with the absence of Kagiso Rabada and the rest might take a while to gel and form a coherent attack, which will be in favor of Kings XI.
If Delhi Daredevils bat first
Predicted score: 180+
If you thought that Kings XI have plenty of batting firepower then you only need to look at the depth of the Delhi Daredevils batting line-up to see just how spoilt for choices they are. They have the option of picking two openers from Gautam Gambhir, Colin Munro, Rishabh Pant, Jason Roy and Shreyas Iyer.
While Gambhir is certain to open as the captain of the side, Colin Munro is likely to be given a chance early in the season, especially considering incredible recent form. That will mean that the middle-order is likely to have both Iyer and Pant.
On top of that, they also have plenty of fire power in the middle-order in the form of Chris Morris, Daniel Christian and Vijay Shankar. With so many options, figuring out their starting XI will be tricky but irrespective of who turns up, they should have enough in the bank to easily score in excess of 180.
As both Kings XI Punjab and Kings XI Punjab have plenty of fire power in the batting department, the game is likely to be decided by how each bowling attack performs. On a flat track, there is unlikely to be any major advantage for either bowling side. But the presence of an in-form Trent Boult and the batting depth of Delhi will likely be enough to give them the edge over Punjab and get them off to a winning start in IPL 2018.
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