The battle of the North - Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab preview
The Delhi Capitals and the Kings XI Punjab have endured similar fortunes throughout the 12 years of the IPL. The two perennially underperforming teams will be looking to add an IPL trophy to their cabinet as they embark upon their Dream 11 IPL 2020 journey.
The Delhi franchise’s strategy since the takeover and the subsequent rebranding from Daredevils to Capitals seems to be one that has borne fruit, with the team making the top 4 last season, equal on points to the table-topping Mumbai Indians and the second-placed Chennai Superkings. With a squad boasting of enough quality Indian players to field a whole eleven without a single overseas player, Delhi have successfully built a strong core that promises to put up a strong fight.
Delhi’s all Indian top-order with a fine mix of power-hitting and grace, exciting young talent, and calm experienced heads will be a spectacle to watch. The strong Indian batting contingent means they can afford to splurge on overseas bowlers in the pace bowling department. R Ashwin, the erstwhile captain of their opponents for today, will be keen to make a mark against his former team, while Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, and Sandeep Lamichhane offer variety among their spinners.
Kings XI Punjab are about to make yet another fresh start under a new captain in KL Rahul, and a rejigged team management now headed by Anil Kumble. Punjab will be dependent on their 5-strong contingent of Karnataka players to be their stars along with a resurgent Sarfaraz Khan who has found form in domestic cricket in the past season. The overseas options in Glen Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are all proven T20 match-winners who will add to their firepower.
Maxwell seems to be a reformed player, his match-winning century from a hopeless situation in the final ODI against England a testimony to his progress. Kings look to have most of their bases covered, but Mohammad Shami being the only Indian international could prove to be a hindrance. The spin bowling duo of Mujeeb and K Gowtham, whom the Kings traded in from Rajasthan Royals, would combine for a potent eight overs of spin.
With Dubai hosting its first game of the season, and the nature of the playing surface pretty much still a mystery, the game promises to be a humdinger between the two teams from the North.