With the games coming in thick and fast, both Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils will be desperately looking for a win that will put their IPL 2017 campaign back on track. Although Delhi occupy the bottom spot in the standings, they have games in hand over all the teams, including three over seventh-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Games in hand will mean nothing if they can't put a win on the board and that is something they have failed to do in their last three games despite bowling brilliantly. The inexperience of their batting line-up has started to show and given their depth it won’t be a surprise to see them opt for a specialist batsman ahead of a match on a true batting surface at Mohali.
Kings XI lost their maiden game of this year’s tournament at Mohali against Sunrisers Hyderabad where their bowling attack once again conceded too many runs, giving the batsmen just too much to do. They have a couple of injury issues to contend with, but will be looking to bounce back and make their way up the table with a victory.
With one side boasting of a strong batting line-up and the other probably having the best bowling attack in the tournament, it will be interesting to see which team comes out on top at Mohali, a surface which generally favors the batsmen while providing little assistance to the bowlers.
Match date: 30-04-2017
Match time: 1600 hours (IST)
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
If Kings XI Punjab bat first
Predicted score: 170+
Martin Guptill came in for Hashim Amla in the previous game and got off to a start but expect the South African star to make his way back into the side should he be fit for this game. Manan Vohra has struggled for consistency so far this season but the side will be pleased with the return to form of Shaun Marsh.
The Australian southpaw’s 84 might not have been enough to claim victory in the last game against Sunrisers but it meant that the side finally have a top order who are all amongst the runs and secured his place in the side. Glenn Maxwell was impressive with the ball but not the bat against SRH and he will be looking to change that against DD.
With Guptill, Amla, Vohra, Marsh and Maxwell all being amongst the runs so far, KXIP will look to get off to a quick start and put a big total on the board and help their bowling attack, which is one of the weakest in the tournament.
However, putting a big total on the board won’t be easy, even if it is on a true batting surface at Mohali where bowlers tend to struggle. That is because of Delhi Daredevils’ bowling line-up, which is arguably the best in the tournament.
In Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Chris Morris and Zaheer Khan, they have a pace attack that ticks all the boxes and can be lethal in any conditions irrespective of the surface on offer. Even if Zaheer, who seemed to suffer an injury in the previous game isn’t fit, they have Mohammed Shami to come in, which only strengthens their pace attack.
Amit Mishra may not always be economical but the leg-spinner adds great variety to the attack and Kings XI will have their task cut out for them if they are to post a huge total on the board at Mohali.
If Delhi Daredevils bat first
Predicted score: 170+
The fact that Delhi Daredevils find themselves at the bottom of the standings despite boasting of arguably one of the best bowling attacks in the tournament is a testament to just how inconsistent their batting has been. While Sanju Samson has been in sublime form, Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris, two of their most explosive players haven’t always had the time to make the most impact with the bat.
Both Pant and Morris have been batting too low in the batting order to make the optimum impact. That is something that looks unlikely to change against Kings XI despite all evidence pointing towards a promotion for both players.
Karun Nair has looked a pale shadow of his former self, the impressive Sam Billings hasn’t got too many games of late and Shreyas Iyer hasn’t always provided the impetus that they have needed, even if he has got the runs.
With plenty of quality of bowlers, Delhi must look to be patient and keep wickets in hand and score at the death where Punjab’s bowlers have struggled. If the platform is set, don’t be surprised if they register the highest total of the season, especially with Pant and Morris at their disposal.
Predicted winners: Delhi Daredevils