The Kings XI Punjab will take on the Delhi DareDevils in their first match in the IPL 2018 at Bindra Stadium, Mohali at 4 pm today. The KXIP missed out the playoffs in the previous IPL edition and the Delhi DareDevils stood in the sixth position.
Match Starts In:
The spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is the only bowler-captain of this IPL edition. He is the eleventh captain for the KXIP franchise while the local-lad Gautam Gambhir is going to lead the Delhi Daredevils in this season. Delhi Daredevils holds the record of appointing its tenth new captain this season.
The KXIP retained only one player, Axar Patel, this year before the auctions. There were negotiable changes in the team composition as well. The team appears to be a good combination of Indian and overseas star players like Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, and KL Rahul. The captain and coach have to shoulder the load of selecting the right squad for their first game on account of the absence of Aaron Finch for the first game. Along with the above new buys, the team has a formidable middle-order with the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, and David Miller.
This year, the Delhi DareDevils retained three players before the auctions, Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris and Rishabh Pant. They appointed Ricky Ponting as the head coach. Rishabh Pant is looking to make up for his poor performance in the Nidahas tournament by doing well in the IPL. The team managed to buy star players like Gautam Gambhir who led the KKR towards the IPL title win twice. In addition, they bought Colin Munro, Glenn Maxwell, and Trent Boult. Maxwell will be out of the first game due to his personal commitments.
Coming to the strong batsmen on both sides, though 38-years old, Chris Gayle expressed his enthusiasm to thrash the bowlers. Yuvraj and David Miller may hit some knocks as well along with Marcus Stoinis. KL Rahul is expected to do well with the bat as well as behind the wickets.
Looking at the Delhi DareDevils, Gambhir is expected to continue his saga of success as a batsman as well as the skipper. Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, and Colin Munro are expected to hit some lightning knocks.
Kagiso Rabada may miss out the game due to injury and Trent Boult may shoulder the pace bowling department along with Chris Morris and Mohammed Shami for Delhi DareDevils. Coming to the opponents, Ashwin and Axar Patel are spinners to be looked on and Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are expected to shoulder the pace bowling department.
- Out of 20 encounters so far, the KXIP won 11 matches and DD managed to win 9 matches in the history of IPL. At Bindra Stadium, the KXIP won 4 matches and DD won 1 match.
- Ravi Chandran is captaining his first T20 series and Gambhir led 123 matches in his T20 career.
- Rishabh Pant holds the record of the highest joint-run-getter with 411 runs in a T20 series and Mayank Agarwal scored 2232 runs in T20s in domestic cricket.
- Chris Gayle is playing for his 23rd team in his overall career.
- Colin Munro scored 396 runs off 9 T20 matches this year at an average of 49.50 and the strike rate of 195.71.
The KXIP team will take on Bangalore Royal Challengers on 13th April at Bengaluru and the Delhi DareDevils face the Rajasthan Royals on 11th April.