IPL 2019 Fantasy: Afghan duo of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi among top picks for Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

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Nabi is in terrific form. Image credit - @IPL/Twitter.

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season heads into match 22 with Kings XI Punjab set to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at Mohali on Monday.

As fans, watching the action is not the only thing to look forward to – 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.

BATSMAN

Chris Gayle – Kings XI Punjab (10.5 credits)

This is a tough one to call between Chris Gayle and David Warner but it is the former who gets the nod due to the fact that he will be batting on his home track.

The explosive West Indies opener looked in excellent touch at the start of the campaign before an injury saw him miss out on Punjab’s win over Delhi Capitals.

Gayle was dismissed for just five on his return from injury on Saturday and he will be desperate to get back into the swing of things at Mohali.

If the Jamaican can rediscover the form he showed in Punjab’s campaign opener against Rajasthan Royals where he smashed a quick-fire 79, then it could be raining sixes on Monday.

BOWLER

Rashid Khan – Sunrisers Hyderabad (9.5 credits)

Both teams have strong bowling units at their disposal but look no further than the No1 ranked bowler in the format.

Rashid Khan might have only picked up four wickets in five appearances so far this season but they have come at an excellent economy-rate of six runs an over.

No batsman has been able to truly get on top of the Afghan leg-spinner with several of them adopting a cautious approach against him. Should a situation arise where Punjab’s batsmen are forced to up the ante against Rashid, expect the wily wrist-spinner to pick up wickets in abundance.

David Warner and Rashid Khan. Image - BCCI/SPORTSZPICS.

David Warner and Rashid Khan. Image – BCCI/SPORTSZPICS.

ALL-ROUNDER

Mohammad Nabi – Sunrisers Hyderabad (8.5 credits)

The Afghanistan all-rounder only made two appearances over the course of the entire 2018 edition, but he has already featured thrice in the current campaign and with good reason.

Nabi has been nothing short of sensational with the ball in hand with his off-spin turning out to be a sure-shot wicket-taking option in the powerplay for Hyderabad.

The veteran has already picked up seven wickets in his three appearances this season including a four-wicket haul against Bangalore. What’s even better is that Nabi’s wickets have come at a mind-boggling economy-rate of just 3.75.

The Afghanistan man can be expected to keep up his wicket-taking exploits and any runs he scores with the bat will be a bonus.

WICKETKEEPER

Jonny Bairstow – Sunrisers Hyderabad (9.5 credits)

Both teams have wicketkeeper-batsmen who are looking good currently but it would be foolish to look beyond Sunrisers’ Jonny Bairstow. The England batsman has been exceptional in what is his maiden IPL campaign with 262 runs from five innings at an average greater than 52 and a strike-rate of nearly 169.

The 29-year-old has even started to outdo the in-form Warner in recent matches while his 114-run knock against Bangalore is arguably the best innings of the tournament so far.

With Sunrisers’ excellent bowling unit, Bairstow has been kept busy behind the stumps as well and one can expect a fair few points in that aspect to go with his batting contributions.

CAPTAIN – Jonny Bairstow

VICE CAPTAIN – Mohammad Nabi

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Zero wins so far for RCB. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

There will be no more margins of error for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) as they play host to Delhi Capitals at Bengaluru.

Virat Kohli and his men have lost all of their five games so far and a victory is must for them against Delhi if they are to keep their hopes of making the play-offs alive.

Delhi, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from two back-to-back defeats which has spoilt their otherwise promising start.

Will Bangalore finally open their account in the 2019 edition or will Delhi get their campaign back on track? Follow the ball-by-ball updates below to find out.

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IPL 2019: A chance for Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad to bounce back from recent setbacks

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Gayle (r) will be itching to bounce back. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Two teams who have endured similar 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaigns so far will collide when Kings XI Punjab play host to Sunrisers Hyderabad at Mohali on Monday.

Both outfits come into the clash on the back of recent setbacks which threaten to derail what has been otherwise promising campaigns up till now for them.

Kings XI will welcome the comforts of home once again after a tricky examination at Chennai where they were found wanting by the defending champions. Ravi Ashwin’s homecoming at his old stomping ground did not turn out to be the stuff of dreams for the Kings XI skipper with his side falling to a 22-run defeat.

Despite what was their second defeat in five matches, Punjab will not be too disheartened by their showing in Chennai where a slow surface at the Chepauk Stadium made run-scoring extremely difficult for batsmen from either side.

They perhaps erred by not picking a third spinner in the playing XI in the form of Mujeeb ur Rahman but there were still a few positives to take for the visitors from their defeat.

POSITIVE SIGNS FOR PUNJAB

While Ashwin continued to excel with the ball, opener KL Rahul found form with a battling half-century in difficult conditions. Another bright spark for Punjab was young Sarfaraz Khan with the right-handed batsmen backing up his promising campaign so far with a terrific 69-run knock.

Veteran opener Chris Gayle failed to fire on his return from injury but the explosive left-hander does not stay dormant for too long and we can expect him to erupt again sooner rather than later.

The side owns one of the most formidable opening pairings in IPL 2019 while its spin-contingent comprising of the two Ashwins (Ravi Ashwin and Murugan Ashwin) and Mujeeb ur Rahman is right up there as well. With the middle-order too finding a spine with the encouraging form of Sarfaraz, Punjab are starting to form a team capable of making a deep run in the tournament.

Like Kings XI, the Sunrisers too come into the clash on the back of a loss with Mumbai Indians handing them their second defeat of the competition on Saturday.

HYDERABAD’S WARNER-BAIRSTOW DEPENDENCY

Unlike Punjab, Hyderabad have reasons to worry after Mumbai debutant Alzarri Joseph’s 6-12 saw them bowled out for just 96 runs while attempting to chase 137.

Throughout their campaign prior to the Mumbai defeat, Hyderabad had made the most of their formidable bowling unit and the opening partnership between David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.

Warner and Bairstow had forged three century stands and one fifty plus partnership between themselves previously to lead Hyderabad’s strong start to their campaign. However, Hyderabad’s worst fears were realised on Saturday when their openers failed to fire with their untested middle-order completely collapsing under the pressure.

As such, Punjab will know that they stand a great chance against Hyderabad should they be able to dismiss Warner and Bairstow early into the innings. While the batting currently hinges on the two openers, the bowling unit is second to none with the likes of Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Nabi and Sandeep Sharma looking extremely good.

Nabi’s sensational form with both bat and ball since coming into the playing XI has been a welcome surprise for the franchise although it has come at the expense of Kane Williamson.

The Sunrisers skipper had scored 755 runs last year where he led the team admirably to a runner-up finish but he now finds himself without a spot in the playing XI.

It is hard to see the Kiwi stalwart displace either of Warner, Bairstow, Rashid or Nabi on current form and he could be waiting on the sidelines for some time to come before he gets a go in the playing XI.

LIKELY XIs

Kings XI Punjab: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravi Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (c), Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul.

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