The Clash Of The Luckless – DC vs KXIP Preview

The Clash Of The Luckless – DC vs KXIP Preview

After the tournament opener between two extremely successful and well-established teams, today we have a clash between two teams who haven’t been so fortunate. The Delhi Capitals and the Kings XI Punjab will square off at the Dubai International Stadium today. These are two of the only teams to never have won a trophy. And both of them will be itching to change that.

Probable XIs

Delhi Capitals

  1. Shikhar Dhawan
  2. Prithvi Shaw/ Ajinkya Rahane
  3. Shreyas Iyer (c)
  4. Shimron Hetmyer*
  5. Rishabh Pant
  6. Marcus Stoinis*/ Keemo Paul*
  7. Axar Patel/ Harshal Patel
  8. Ravichandran Ashwin
  9. Sandeep Lamichchane*
  10. Ishant Sharma
  11. Kagiso Rabada*

Kings XI Punjab

  1. KL Rahul (c)
  2. Chris Gayle*/ Nicholas Pooran*
  3. Mayank Agarwal
  4. Sarfaraz Khan
  5. Glenn Maxwell*
  6. Deepak Hooda
  7. Krishnappa Gowtham
  8. Sheldon Cottrell*/ James Neesham*/ Chris Jordan*
  9. Ravi Bishnoi/ Jagadeesha Suchith/ Darshan Nalkande
  10. Mohammed Shami
  11. Mujeeb Ur Rahman*
  • The Kings XI Punjab have a lot of questions to ask themselves about their starting lineup. The first and foremost – Will Chris Gayle play? Gayle is the heart and soul of whichever team he plays for, but it can’t be denied that he isn’t the same anymore. Age is getting the better of him, and he won’t be able to give you those numbers that the 2012 or 2013 Gayle would have. Maybe they will play Gayle only for crucial matches, and rest him for the others. If Gayle doesn’t play, then Mayank Agarwal will open with the captain and fellow Karnataka teammate KL Rahul, while Nicholas Pooran will add firepower to the middle order.
  • The second question is – What about their pace attack? KXIP have an excellent spin department, but their pace department is extremely thin. Apart from Mohammed Shami, they have no impactful Indian fast bowlers. So they have to pick one of 3 foreign fast bowlers in Sheldon Cottrell, James Neesham and Chris Jordan. The natural choice here would be Neesham, but there is another angle to it. KXIP have paid 8.5  crores to secure the sevices of Sheldon Cottrell. Now if they don’t play him, they would make a mockery out of themselves. So maybe that will ultimately contribute to Cottrell’s selection in the XI.
  • The last question is – Which uncapped talent do they want to invest in? KXIP’s bowling is almost filled to the brim. There is just room for one young Indian bowler there. And there are 3 candidates for that spot. Ravi Bishnoi, Jagadeesha Suchith, and Darshan Nalkande. The most likely choice is Ravi Bishnoi. Bishnoi was the top wicket taker for India’s U-19 World Cup runners up squad. As a spinner, he will have a great time being the understudy of KXIP head coach Anil Kumble, who is incidentally the only Indian Head Coach in this IPL. While Bishnoi is the emotional choice, the fast bowler Darshan Nalkande is the practical one. KXIP has just two fast bowlers in their XI. This is unacceptable on any pitch in the world, not matter how slow or dry. They will leak runs in the death overs if they don’t get a third pacer. So it will be interesting to see whether they go with the emotional choice, or the practical choice.
  • Delhi Capitals on the other hand have easier decisions to make. Their top order is completely set, except for the decision of who’s opening alongside Shikhar Dhawan. I believe it will be Prithvi Shaw, and Ajinkya Rahane will have to sit out and wait for his chance. The next few names pick themselves, and will be the players DC will depend on to put up some high totals. The first real dilemma they will have is whether to play Marcus Stoinis or not. Now, if this question had been asked before the recently concluded England-Australia series, the answer would have been that he’d play without a doubt. But his consistently poor batting performances in that series must have made Delhi reconsider. They have two options to fill his spot – Alex Carey and Keemo Paul. Carey is the better batsman but if they pick him, then they’d have only 5 bowling options. So I feel that Keemo Paul will be making the start today for the Delhi Capitals.

Prediction

The DC team definitely looks stronger on paper. They are well balanced in all respects, and don’t have too many doubts about player selections. KXIP, on the other hand, have some individual match-winners who can win them the game without any assistance. But, I have to go with the logical choice, and choose the Delhi Capitals to win this game.

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