IPL 2019 Fantasy: KL Rahul and Sam Curran among top picks for KXIP vs RCB

Ashish Peter 12/04/2019
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KL Rahul is in sensational form. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League season heads into match 28 with Kings XI Punjab hosting Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second game of Saturday’s double-header.

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 form.

BATSMAN

Chris Gayle – Kings XI Punjab (10.5 credits)

Despite the star-studded batting cast on offer on both sides, it is hard to look beyond Chris Gayle for the batting slot given his explosive half-century in his last match.

AB de Villiers has blown hot and cold for RCB while Virat Kohli has been steady but hardly spectacular. As such, Gayle, who has registered two quick-fire fifties already in the current edition, leads the charge with the bat.

The Jamaican veteran was in smashing form in KXIP’s narrow loss to Mumbai with an entertaining 36-ball 63. Gayle has a penchant for going on hot streaks once he gets going and the innings against Mumbai could drive him to touch even greater heights in the clash against Bangalore.

BOWLER

Yuzvendra Chahal – Royal Challengers Bangalore (9 credits)

Amidst the shambles that is RCB, one man has still been able to hold his own. That man is Yuzvendra Chahal with the India leg-spinner currently only behind Delhi’s Kagiso Rabada and Chennai’s Deepak Chahar in the wicket-taking charts.

The wrist-spinner has been Bangalore’s best player by far this season with his nine wickets in seven appearances coming at an economy-rate of less than seven runs an over.

Chahal can expect some help from the Mohali pitch which always has some bounce available for spinners to exploit and that should translate into some wickets and a fair amount of fantasy points.

ALL-ROUNDER

Sam Curran – Kings XI Punjab (8.5 credits)

The England youngster was expected to struggle in subcontinent conditions despite being the most expensive overseas purchase in the 2019 auction. While he might not exactly be setting the stage alight, Curran sure has had his moments in his maiden IPL campaign.

The KXIP all-rounder has found opportunities hard to come by with the bat but he did play a fine quick-fire cameo against Delhi Capitals at the same venue. With the ball, Curran has picked up seven wickets so far with many of them coming at a crucial stage.

With an IPL hat-trick already under his belt, expect Curran to grow in confidence as the tournament progresses and that should see a substantial rise in his fantasy points contribution.

WICKETKEEPER

KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab (10 credits)

There is no debate at all for the wicketkeeper’s slot with Punjab’s KL Rahul being a shoe-in based on current form.

The KXIP opener had an indifferent start to his campaign but has burst into life in the most recent clashes. Rahul’s last five innings in the IPL have yielded four scores above 50 with the latest of them being an unbeaten ton against Mumbai.

The right-hander is now only second to Hyderabad’s David Warner in the run-scoring charts and he will be eager to keep up this prolific form with India’s World Cup squad set to be announced on April 18.

CAPTAIN – KL Rahul

VICE CAPTAIN – Chris Gayle

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IPL 2019: Dhawan unlucky to miss out on special ton as Delhi Capitals do double over KKR

Ashish Peter 12/04/2019
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Dhawan's 97 leads Delhi to win. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Shikhar Dhawan’s best-ever Indian Premier League knock helped Delhi Capitals inflict a crushing seven-wicket defeat over Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.

Having been sent into bat first, Kolkata were able to muster 178-7 in their 20 overs before they saw Dhawan make a mockery of that total to take Delhi to a victory with seven balls still to spare.

The seven-wicket win not only helped the young Delhi side complete the double over KKR but it also propelled them into the top-four of the league table. It was also their first win at Eden Gardens since 2012.

GILL STANDS TALL AS RUSSELL REVELS

Joe Denly’s IPL debut ended with a golden duck as the England all-rounder’s stumps sent tumbling by Ishant Sharma off the very first delivery. However, Kolkata recovered quickly from that opening blow with a fine innings from young Shubman Gill.

The promising youngster had been subdued previously but he looked in excellent touch from the very start against Delhi in a stirring innings that culminated in a 34-ball half-century. The right-hander struck two sixes and seven boundaries in a 39-ball stay that fetched him 63 runs before Andre Russell took control at the middle.

The Windies all-rounder registered his sixth consecutive score of 40 plus as he added four more sixes to his burgeoning tournament tally. Russell’s 21-ball 45 and Gill’s second IPL fifty was the driving force behind Kolkata’s charge with the bat, which pattered out ultimately towards the end.

DELHI REEL IT IN AFTER RUSSELL CHARGE

With Russell smashing the ball to all parts of the ground again in typical brute fashion, a score of over 200 seemed to be on the cards for KKR at one point. However, the visitors fought back in the latter overs with some important wickets that took the sting out of Kolkata’s attack.

It all started with the dismissal of Gill in the 15th over with the youngster’s sweetly struck shot going straight into the hands of Hershal Patel. Then, Chris Morris ended Russell’s stay in the next over with a wide full-toss which the Windies man could only smash into Kagiso Rabada’s hands in the deep.

Rabada then struck with the ball himself to dismiss the dangerous Dinesh Karthik cheaply while Carlos Brathwaite was unable to impress with the bat in his first outing of the season. Those late wickets cost the hosts probably around 15 to 20 runs and that proved to be their undoing in the end.

DHAWAN’S EXPERIENCE COMES TO THE FORE

Although slightly under par, a chase of 178 was not going to be a straightforward one for Delhi but veteran Dhawan made it look like a walk in the park in the end.

The experienced opener produced his best-ever IPL display with an unbeaten knock of 97 (63) that completely deflated Kolkata’s strong bowling attack.

Young Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer had very brief stays at the crease but Dhawan was seeing the ball like a football at the other end with his blade doing all the talking. The left-hander found the ideal foil in Rishabh Pant and the duo stitched together a 105-run stand in no time to all but seal victory for Delhi.

Pant departed after an entertaining 31-ball 46 but Dhawan would not be tied down with the opener continuing to belt out the boundaries at will. Dhawan was unlucky to be left stranded three runs short of a maiden IPL ton as Colin Ingram finished off the match in the penultimate over with a fine six.

BRIEF SCORES

Kolkata Knight Riders: 178-7

Shubman Gill: 63 (39)

Andre Russell: 45 (21)

Delhi Capitals: 180-3

Shikhar Dhawan: 97 not out (63)

Rishabh Pant: 46 (31)

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IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians in ominous form as struggling Rajasthan Royals come calling

Ashish Peter 12/04/2019
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Mumbai are on a roll. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Two teams with vastly contrasting forms will meet on Saturday in the 2019 Indian Premier League when Mumbai Indians play host to Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede stadium.

Rohit Sharma and his Mumbai team come into the clash of on the back of a three-match winning run which has seen them topple defending champions Chennai Super Kings, last season’s runners-up Sunrisers Hyderabad and high-flying Kings XI Punjab.

After an indifferent start to their campaign which saw them lose two of their three opening fixtures, Mumbai have started to find the kind of momentum that has seen them win three IPL titles in the past.

MUMBAI ON A ROLL

A major reason for their revival has been the form of all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya with the pair playing some crucial cameos with the bat down the order in recent clashes. Pollard’s 31-ball 83 was at the forefront of Mumbai’s last-gasp victory over KXIP with the side chasing down a stiff target of 198 off the very last delivery of the match.

While the form of Pollard and Pandya augurs well for Mumbai going forward, the return of Lasith Malinga from his domestic commitments will provide another boost. The veteran pacer is now back full time for the franchise after completing his Super Four Provincial One-Day tournament engagements back in Sri Lanka with Galle.

With Malinga back, Mumbai have an impressive pace arsenal at their disposal which also includes the excellent Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendorrf and Alzarri Joseph.

But while Mumbai are clearly on the way up, Rajasthan on the other hand, are fast slipping into quicksand…

MISFIRING ROYALS

The 2008 winners are languishing second from bottom in the IPL standings after registering just the sole win in their six matches so far. Ajinkya Rahane and his men’s lone victory came against bottom-placed RCB while they have tasted five defeats already with the latest of them coming in the most heartbreaking of manners.

Their star all-rounder Ben Stokes failed to defend 18 runs off the final over against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday as they once again failed to close out a match which they should have won. In their five losses so far, only Kolkata Knight Riders have convincingly thrashed them while the remaining four defeats have all been close ones.

But so fine are the margins in T20 cricket that the Royals might have already waved goodbye to their chances of making it to the play-offs for a second year in a row.

It will take a miraculous run from Rajasthan in the second half of their campaign if they are to still make the top-four but they will first need their misfiring overseas contingent to rise to the occasion.

The likes of Steve Smith and Stokes have failed to really come to the party while Jos Buttler has blown hot and cold. The Royals have Ashton Turner, Liam Livingstone and Ish Sodhi still in reserve and it might now be time for them to make some changes to the playing XI if they are to reverse their fortunes.

TEAM NEWS

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma missed out on his side’s win over KXIP due to a muscle strain and it is likely that he could be out for the clash against Rajasthan as well.

LIKELY XIs

Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock (wk), Siddesh Lad/Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendorrf, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ashton Turner, Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.

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