Both sides are coming off a loss to begin their campaign, however it is the Delhi Daredevils with more to prove in this clash. With very little star power, the Daredevils will have a hard time holding their own in this year’s tournament. A match against an erratic Kings XI side could prove a perfect way to build some confidence heading into the mid-part of the series.
IPL T20: Delhi Daredevils v Kings XI Punjab – Feroz Shah Kotla (Delhi)
Kotla and Pitch Analysis
Kotla hosted four games in the World T20, so we have a fairly good read on what to expect when Delhi host Punjab. A slower pitch, runs were relatively hard to come by, and given that both sides struggled with the bat in their season-opener, a low-scoring grind wouldn’t surprise.
Over the past two IPL seasons, 9 of the 10 matches played here were won by the chasing side, with dew evidently playing a part. The World Cup bucked that trend a little bit though, with the side batting first succeeding more often than not. The pitch didn’t offer too much in terms of spin in the World Cup either, something that will favour Kings XI and their strong top order.
Over the past two IPL seasons, only two 1st innings totals have failed to reach 140. Conditions in the World Cup were less favourable for batting than we’d become accustomed to though. England posted just 142 against Afghanistan and 171 against a poor Sri Lankan side, whilst Sri Lanka managed just 120 against South Africa.
JP Duminy would be a massive inclusion for the Daredevils, but it remains to be seen whether he is match-fit after suffering a hamstring injury earlier this month. The side should remain largely unchanged otherwise, with Dehli hoping to put their horrific effort first up behind them.
Delhi Daredevils Probable XI: Shreyas Iyer, Quinton de Kock (wk), Mayank Agarwal, JP Duminy, Karun Nair, Carlos Brathwaite, Pawan Negi, Zaheer Khan (c), Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir
Kings XI Punjab
Marcus Stoinis stepped in for Shaun Marsh in Punjab’s season opener, and played fairly well. Whilst he went the journey in his two overs he did snare a wicket, and his medium pacers could prove handy on a pitch more suited to bowling than most.
Kings XI Punjab Probable XI: M Vijay, M Vohra,David Miller (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, P Sahu
Quinton de Kock v David Miller
Whilst they occupy very different roles for their sides, these two South Africans are the heart of their side’s batting order. Miller is as destructive as any middle-order player in world cricket, whilst de Kock is comfortably the greatest obstacle for Kings XI’s bowling attack. Miller averages just shy of 37 in T20 cricket, and boasts a strike rate of 138.8, whilst de Kock is coming off a wonderful 6 months in the format.
Nathan Coulter-Nile v Mitchell Johnson
The old and the new as far as Australian limited overs cricket goes, Coulter-Nile was touted as Mitchell Johnson’s direct replacement for the recent T20 World Cup. We have never really understood the hype around the West Australia however, with his bowling not versatile enough and his batting not consistent enough. Johnson meanwhile has had a few months off and will head into this IPL refreshed and still somewhat close to the peak of his powers. He was a Test bowler just four months ago and remains an elite limited overs bowler. His battle with de Kock will be crucial.
Nine of the past 10 IPL matches played at this venue have been won by the side batting second.
- Whilst the numbers from the WT20 go against that trend, dew can play a major role here if it sets in. The 1st innings scores in the WT20 were 153, 120, 171 and 142.
Kings XI boast four players in their side with over 130 games of T20 experience, whilst Delhi boast just one.
- Delhi boast an advantage in the bowling stakes on paper, with three of their players having taken over 100 T20 wickets compared to none for Punjab.
The Daredevils won both of these fixtures last season, with the match at Kotla a convincing win for the visitors (9 wickets with 25 balls to spare).
Delhi Daredevils v Kings XI Punjab Preview and Final Prediction
This looms as a one-sided clash in my opinion. The advantage that typically goes with the toss has seemingly subsided in recent months, so we’re confident backing Kings XI regardless of whether they’re chasing or not. Aside from Imran Tahir giving Delhi a superior spin option, Kings XI are superior in every single department. If JP Duminy plays we give Delhi an outside chance if they’re chasing, but it looks like Zaheer Khan’s men are in for another loss.
Delhi Daredevils Top Batsman: Quinton de Kock
Kings XI Punjab Top Batsman: David Miller
Delhi Daredevils Top Bowler: Imran Tahir
Kings XI Punjab Top Bowler: Mitchell Johnson
Match Prediction: Kings XI Punjab by 6 wickets / 20 runs.