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IPL 2018: Match 2, KXIP vs DD, Preview: Proven T20 stars set to lock horns in Mohali

The likes of Gayle and Yuvraj would love to set the stage on fire.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh in the nets. (Source: Twitter)

There will be a sense of Deja Vu for everyone when Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) will take the field in Mohali to begin their season. Some of the superstars in the shortest format will be playing for their home franchises after a long time and would be itching to prove their mettle once again. These are two of the most underrated sides of the IPL this year and they might catch the teams off guard if they get their act together. However, they will have to play their best cricket in order to outgun each other on a super Sunday.

Kings XI Punjab have a great chance to start the tournament on a high on their home ground under their new skipper Ravi Ashwin. The franchise has overhauled the whole squad apart form Axar Patel who was retained by them. They have backed the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle who are at the wrong end of their careers to come good and also have the decent mixture of youth as well. It will also be crucial the way their captain Ashwin handles the team along with Virender Sehwag.

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Gautam Gambhir is back to lead the side for his home franchise after winning the title twice for KKR in his previous stints. A lot is expected of him but the captain is as good as his team and the others will have to step up. DD squad is filled with some exciting talent who are specialists in the format and would be raring to take the field. Their coach Ricky Ponting has already cleared his intentions by saying that he is not in India to make up the numbers and he must have instilled the same attitude in the team as well.

The pitch at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali has generally favoured batting and the wicket will be fresh as it is the start of the new season. There will be some moisture in the pitch and should help the fast bowlers albeit only for first few overs. The highest score chased at the venue in the IPL is 194 and expect the wicket to stay the same throughout the 40 overs. It is also the afternoon start so dew also wouldn’t be playing the part.

Toss: KXIP won the toss and elected to bowl first

DD overseas picks: Munro, Christian, Morris and Boult

KXIP overseas picks: Stoinis, Miller, Zadran and Tye

Delhi Daredevils (Playing XI): Gautam Gambhir(c), Colin Munro, Rishabh Pant(w), Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Vijay Shankar, Daniel Christian, Rahul Tewatia, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami

Kings XI Punjab (Playing XI): Lokesh Rahul(w), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

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Team Combinations

Kings XI Punjab

Punjab will miss the services of Aaron Finch for the first game as he is yet to arrive in the country courtesy his marriage. Chris Gayle will surely play in that case and will be partnered by KL Rahul who will also keep wickets for them. The middle-order would comprise of Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary and David Miller. There will be a toss-up between Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal for the number 3 slot as both of them had a stellar domestic season.

Marcus Stoinis can play as the floater as he is one of the fierce hitters of the cricket ball. The spin bowling duties will be taken care of by the skipper Ashwin and Axar Patel even as the likes of Andrew Tye and Mohit Sharma are the front-runners to lead the pace attack. Stoinis will act as the fifth bowler for them with the part-time options Yuvraj and Gayle also available for them. There is also a chance for the spinner from Afghanistan Mujeeb Zadran but then they will have to drop one of their overseas players.

Delhi Daredevils

Delhi will miss Glenn Maxwell in their first game as he will be attending the marriage of his teammate Finch. The skipper Gambhir and Colin Munro are set to open the innings as the middle order will be filled with the Indian talent like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Abhishek Sharma. Vijay Shankar and Chris Morris are the perfect all-rounders in the team as the veteran Amit Mishra and the youngster from Nepal Sandeep Lamichhane will make his IPL debut.

The fast bowling duties will be looked upon by Trent Boult and Mohammed Shami. DD seems to have decent bowling options as Munro can also bowl if needed as Abhishek’s left-arm spin is also another variety. They have 7 batsmen and 8 bowling options in this playing eleven which should make things easy for Gambhir.

Focus will be on

R Ashwin (KXIP)

Undoubtedly, Ashwin’s leadership skills will be tested in this tournament as he is leading the team for the first time in the history of IPL. Even he is excited to do the job and it will be interesting the way he handles the senior players like Yuvraj and Gayle. Moreover, Ashwin will have to take care that it doesn’t affect his bowling which is the main weapon and much will depend on the way he bowls. He will have to lead from the front in that department as his every step will be scrutinised.

Gautam Gambhir (DD)

Gambhir is back to play for Delhi and now he has two titles behind him as the captain in the tournament. It is not surprising if the franchise owners are expecting him to repeat the heroics and win the first title for them. It is also crucial for Gambhir to keep his composure as he will have to lead a comparatively young team. He will mostly open or bat at number 3 and the onus will be on the left-hander to anchor the innings right through. Gambhir is a veteran though and he knows how to handle the pressure at this level.

Head to Head

Played- 20, Delhi Daredevils- 9, Kings XI Punjab- 11, NR/Tie- 0

Stat Attack

1- R Ashwin will be playing his first T20 game in India since 2016 IPL. He was ruled out of the tournament last year due to injury.

3- Colin Munro has three-centuries in the shortest format of the game out of which a couple of them are as an opener. He also crossed the three-figure mark during New Zealand’s tour of India last year.

Match Timings: 16:00 IST, 10:30 GMT

Broadcast Details

TV: Star Sports 1, Star Sports Select 1, Star Jalsha, Star Maa Movies, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports Tamil

Online: Hotstar, YuppTV

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