Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils will see a contest between two of India’s smartest cricketers – R Ashwin and Gautam Gambhir. Ashwin will be a captain for the very first time in his long IPL career when he assumes the mantle of the Kings XI side.
When asked by the media about what to expect from him as a captain, Ashwin said, “You’ll not be able to predict my next move. All players you think are going to open will play in the middle order and all the middle-order batsmen will open.”
Haha, yeah, you get that sort of answers from Ashwin. No matter what happens in the match, the pre-match and post-match comments from Ashwin will always be interesting. He has a very unique take on cricket, and always has something new and interesting to say.
Indeed, there are rumors that Ashwin, the world’s premier off-spin bowler who has taken more than 300 test wickets, will bowl leg spin in this IPL. That’s the sort of player he is.
Gambhir is just as interesting a character as Ashwin. He has a mind of his own and is never afraid to give it back, even to the likes of Virat Kohli. He is now back at Delhi Daredevils, where it all began for him. He is a Delhi boy through and through and will be relishing the challenge to lift his home team higher than where they have been last 3 years.
Daredevils have historically been among the worst performers in the IPL. They will hope for a change in fortune this season.
Chris Gayle will play instead of Aaron Finch at the top for Kings XI as Finch is getting married today. He will be joined at the ceremony by his friend Glenn Maxwell, who plays for the Daredevils. The two Aussies will be missed, but there will be handy replacements for both in Chris Gayle and Jason Roy.
Kagiso Rabada has is out of entire IPL season with a stress fracture of the back. He will be replaced by Liam Plunkett, who is a very good fast bowler himself.
This is going to be one good contest between two teams who have generally underperformed in the IPL and are looking for better days ahead with new leaders and a fresh new approach.
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 KL Rahul (wk), 3 Mayank Agarwal/ Karun Nair, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 David Miller, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 Andrew Tye, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Barinder Sran
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 2 Colin Munro, 3 Jason Roy, 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Chris Morris, 7 Vijay Shankar, 8 Amit Mishra, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Shahbaz Nadeem
Watch Kings XI Punjab play Delhi Daredevils at 4 pm this evening on Star Sports!