After the no-ball-that-wasn’t drama against Mumbai Indians, Virat Kohli needs to be an inspiration more than ever against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Kohli’s RCB are helped by the fact that Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson has been ruled out with a niggle – though David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Vijay Shankar are all in form at the top of the order.
Meanwhile, Kohli and AB De Villiers need some help from the rest of their team for RCB to get off the mark – with 16-year-old leggie Prayas Ray Barman included in the XI.
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They got there in different ways, but Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals both showed the threat they carry this season en route to second IPL 2019 wins last week.
Punjab would have been glad to win with minimal fuss after the incident-packed first two games of their season, as they cruised to an eight-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians. KL Rahul played his way back into form during a scratchy but ultimately match-winning innings, Mayank Agarwal continued his own good run to start the tournament, and together they made sure Kings XI made light work of a potentially tricky 177-run target.
They still have some issues to sort out with team selection – Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s absence from the XI remains a mystery, and they’ve won one and lost one of the two games the Afghan spinner has been out of the side.
In captain Ravichandran Ashwin’s defence, against Mumbai leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin acquitted himself well, bowling a spell of 2/25 from his four overs to help contain the potentially explosive Indians batting. And with Hardus Viljoen and Andrew Tye key players in the bowling attack and Chris Gayle and David Miller entrenched in the batting lineup, there’s no overseas spot for Mujeeb to take.
Against the destructive Delhi batsmen, perhaps Ravi Ashwin sticks to his guns and keeps Mujeeb out of the firing line. After all, it’s a batting lineup that includes Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer, who have worked their way into form this season, Prithvi Shaw, who fell agonisingly for 99 on Saturday in a dramatic win over Kolkata Knight Riders, and of course, Rishabh Pant.
Though Delhi beat KKR, it was only after an almighty scare, as they went from needing just 18 off the last 18 balls to being forced into a Super Over. It was perhaps a necessary experience for Iyer’s young side, nearly throwing away a win before Kagiso Rabada‘s brilliant bowling in the Super Over bailed out his dangerous but callow batsmen. That came after Delhi conceded a total of 185/8 despite having had KKR at 61/5.
The way Shaw slowed down while approaching a century and then got out attempting an ugly heave, or Pant’s inability to adjust to an around-the-wicket angle from left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav, showed that at times, a lack of experience can still be this side’s Achilles heel. It’s something Ashwin in particular will look to exploit.
They did get the win, however, and that’s what is important – a matter-of-fact feeling that will no doubt resonate with Kings XI, who got a controversial victory against Rajasthan Royals to start the season.
Trent Boult should return for Delhi for the injured Chris Morris, having missed the last two games, while Hanuma Vihari’s first game of the season ended with a wicket off a ball he should have dispatched into the stands to win the game. There might be a rethink over his inclusion. Other than Mujeeb, Punjab have no major selection issues.
Rabada's yorker to Russell is one of the great balls in T20. Dre is batting on another planet to the rest of the circuit right now - the margin for error to him his infinitesimal & KG nails an inch-perfect yorker right on middle stump & right on the crease-line. #IPL #DCvKKR— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) March 30, 2019
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Ravi Ashwin (c), Hardus Viljoen, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye
Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Colin Ingram, Hanuma Vihari, Harshal Patel, Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult
As fans, it’s not just watching the action that’s there to look forward to, but IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.
As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.
Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.
Without further adieu, here are our top options in each category for this encounter.
SHANE WATSON – Chennai Super Kings (10 credits)
The veteran Australian opener could only muster a 10-ball duck in the tournament opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore but he bounced back into form with a 26-ball 44 against the Delhi Capitals.
Given that Watson is just coming off an excellent Pakistan Super League (PSL) campaign where he finished as the season as the top-scorer, expect his to impose his dominance on the IPL sooner rather than later.
With the right-hander now showing signs of coming into his own, it is the perfect time to put the experienced opener into your Fantasy team line ups.
Imran Tahir – Chennai Super Kings (8.5 credits)
The playing conditions at the Chepauk will be worth keeping in mind while choosing the fantasy picks given the way the ball turned square in the first match held at the venue.
With spinners expected to thrive in Chennai, it is hard to look beyond Imran Tahir in the bowling department with the South African veteran currently in excellent form.
The Proteas leg-spinner picked up three wickets and conceded just nine runs in Chennai’s win over Bangalore at the venue and expect him to spin a web around the Rajasthan batsmen on Sunday.
Ravindra Jadeja – Chennai Super Kings (8.5 credits)
Keeping the spin-friendly conditions at Chennai in mind, Ravindra Jadeja is our pick for the all-rounder’s slot. The southpaw relishes bowling in conditions such as the one in Chennai and it showed in his display against Bangalore where the batsmen found his left-arm spin extremely difficult to navigate.
Jadeja can always be relied on for some quick-fire runs down the order as well while his outstanding fielding abilities should see him pick up some bonus points in the outfield too.
Jos Buttler – Rajasthan Royals (10.5 credits)
The sole Rajasthan Royals man in our picks, Jos Buttler gets the nod with the gloves despite the presence of the highly experienced MS Dhoni.
The destructive England batsman was in scorching form against Kings XI Punjab in Rajasthan’s campaign opener before he was ‘Mankaded’ controversially by Ravi Ashwin.
Buttler failed to fire against Sunrisers Hyderabad and as such, he will be determined to get back to taking bowlers to the cleaners like he usually does.
Opening the innings for Rajasthan, Buttler has the window to cause maximum destruction compared to his Chennai counterpart Dhoni who bats down the order.
CAPTAIN – Jos Buttler
VICE CAPTAIN – Shane Watson