Punjab now have two wins in a row, and that too nail-biters, but they should have never allowed the matches to get that close. Despite having nine wickets in hand, the contest against RCB went into the last over, and was eventually decided off the last ball. Against Mumbai as well, they should never have won without needing two Super Overs.
KXIP skipper KL Rahul has led the side commendably with the bat. He scored wonderful half-centuries in both of Punjab’s recent wins, but wasn’t there at the end when the nerves where being put to test. Rahul needs to let go of some of his conservative batting nature, so that games do not get too close for Punjab’s comfort.
The continued good form of Rahul’s opening partner Mayank Agarwal is critical while the addition of Chris Gayle has made a big difference. Glenn Maxwell’s horror run is a massive concern so is the death overs bowling. Maxwell’s off-spin though is proving to be a surprise plus. KXIP would hope Mohammed Shami can repeat his Super Over heroics in regulation time as well.
Delhi will look to carry on their impressive run having thwarted the Chennai Super Kings challenge in their previous game. Opener Prithvi Shaw will be under pressure following a couple of ducks, but Shikhar Dhawan has lifted his game at the right time. His unbeaten century against CSK was pure class. Axar Patel is proving his worth as an all-rounder, and his three sixes off Ravindra Jadeja will be etched in memory for a while.
If Rishabh Pant remains unfit, Ajinkya Rahane might get another chance but time is running out for him. DC’s bowling is arguably the most potent in IPL 2020. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have been brilliant in the pace department while Ravichandran Ashwin is proving to be a wily old fox. Marcus Stoinis’ all-round ability provides the x-factor to the team.
Head-to-Head Record: In 25 matches between them, KXIP have won 14 and DC 11.
DC Predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Tushar Deshpande, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
KXIP Predicted XI: KL Rahul (c&wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
The pitch at all venues are getting slower, but the last match here saw both KXIP and MI scoring 176 in a tie. Big runs can still be scored.
Temperature will be in the early to mid-30s. but humidity is predicted to be over 50 per cent.