When these two teams met the first time in the tournament, it was a tale of ecstasy and pain. KXIP’s bowlers had decimated the DC top order, only for Marcus Stoinis to play a scintillating cameo and push the score to respectability.
Mayank Agarwal announced himself in the tournament with a memorable knock as he took KXIP to the doorsteps of victory from a seemingly lost position. A debatable umpiring call, of a short run, meant the match went into the super over where DC prevailed.
That match set the template for both teams in the tournament. Delhi have since gone on to swing matches in their favour from difficult situations and are currently on top of the points table. KXIP on the other hand made it a habit to lose matches from strong positions and were struggling at the bottom of the table, before edging out Mumbai Indians in a double Super Over on Sunday.
Chris Gayle’s inclusion in the playing XI has been a huge plus for KXIP who have now beaten RCB and MI in consecutive matches and aim to topple DC to get into touching distance of the fourth spot, where KKR currently sit with 10 points.
The batting looks sharp with Rahul and Agarwal still going strong. Gayle and Pooran provide the extra layer of firepower in the middle order and the team still expects Glenn Maxwell to deliver with the bat in the business end. Mohammed Shami too has found second wind in the tournament and the spin duo of Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin have shown they can be relied upon.
Delhi have been boosted by the upswing in the form of opener Shikhar Dhawan, who single-handedly decimated CSK in the last outing. His good form is of great importance to the team as Prithvi Shaw’s form has dipped and Pant continues to be sidelined due to injury. Ajinkya Rahane and Alex Carey have looked out of place and the team would hope Pant returns soon as that would allow an in-form Shimron Hetmyer to return to the playing XI as well.
Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, R Ashwin and the excellent Axar Patel are expected to give KXIP’s batting a tough time, but this will be a clash between two confident teams and the result could go either way.