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.
Shikhar Dhawan – Delhi Capitals (9.5 credits)
While both of India’s limited-overs openers will be on show on Thursday on opposite sides of the crease, it is Delhi’s Shikhar Dhawan who gets the nod due to his superior form this campaign.
The move to bring back the left-hander into the Delhi fold is paying dividends for the franchise with Dhawan’s experience proving to be crucial.
Dhawan has already registered two half-centuries in the tournament this year with the latest of them being a superb unbeaten innings of 97 against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.
Back on his home ground after a long stretch on the road, Dhawan will be eager to put in another positive display and anchor the innings for Delhi.
Kagiso Rabada – Delhi Capitals (9 credits)
There is no need to look beyond Kagiso Rabada for the bowler’s slot with the Delhi pacer having his best-ever IPL campaign.
The South Africa fast bowler missed the entire 2018 edition due to an injury but he has been a revelation this season with 17 wickets in just eight outings.
From defending a score of 10 in a Super Over to blowing away the opposition’s batting order, Rabada has done it all this campaign and is only getting better with each passing game.
The ‘Purple Cap’ (most wickets) holder has been picking up wickets at an astonishing strike-rate of less than 12 and he can be expected to further burgeon his wicket-tally on Thursday.
Hardik Pandya – Mumbai Indians (9.5 credits)
While there are several contenders for the slot including Kieron Pollard and Chris Morris, it is Hardik Pandya who ends up as our pick given the consistency he has shown over the course of the campaign.
The Mumbai and India all-rounder has played some crucial cameos down the order already for his side with the latest of them coming in a 16-ball 37 against RCB where he scored 22 runs in a single over.
The right-hander has been striking the ball at a rate of nearly 192 this season. Although expensive, Pandya has managed to claim six wickets so far but his bowling contributions will be a bonus given the terrific form he has shown with the bat.
Rishabh Pant – Delhi Capitals (9.5 credits)
Both teams have two explosive wicketkeeper batsmen at their disposal but it is Delhi’s Rishabh Pant who just about shades Mumbai’s Quinton de Kock.
While his current batting average of 35 pales in comparison to his 2018 showings where he averaged nearly 53, Pant has still been collecting runs at a good strike-rate of over 161.
With the youngster only recently snubbed from India’s 2019 World Cup squad selection, he will be even more determined to play a big innings on Thursday to send a reminder of his undeniable batting prowess.
CAPTAIN – Kagiso Rabada
VICE CAPTAIN – Hardik Pandya
It was Delhi who emerged victorious by 37 runs in the reverse fixture at Mumbai in what was the campaign opener for both sides.
Both teams are currently level on 10 points in the league table after registering five victories apiece with the second spot up for grabs for Thursday’s victors.
REJIGGED DELHI ON A ROLL
Thursday’s clash sees Delhi Capitals return to their home ground at the Feroz Shah Kotla after an extended spell on the road which has been a highly successful one. Since being beaten by Sunrisers Hyderabad at their home venue on April 4, Delhi have gone on to attain away victories in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
Shreyas Iyer and his men have several factors clicking for them with the young squad showing strong form. In the batting department, the experience of Shikhar Dhawan has been complimented with the exuberance of youth provided by the likes of Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw.
With the ball, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada has been nothing short of sensational with the fast bowler leading the wicket-taking charts with 17 scalps in just eight outings. His South Africa compatriot Chris Morris, meanwhile, has been a steady influence in the all-rounder’s slot with important contributions with both bat and ball.
As such, it is no wonder that Delhi has turned heads with their displays this campaign which has the potential to turn into something special.
Your 2019 @IPL top wicket-takers:— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) 16 April 2019
1⃣ Kagiso Rabada
2⃣ Imran Tahir
3⃣ Yuzvendra Chahal
4⃣ Chris Morris
5⃣ Deepak Chahar
Positive signs for South Africa ahead of the Cricket World Cup 🇿🇦🏏 pic.twitter.com/zAHIPbiGun
MUMBAI BANK ON PANDYA, POLLARD FIREPOWER
While there are several factors behind Delhi’s strong season so far, Mumbai’s two most important players have been all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard.
The two right-handers have already played several quick-fire cameos down the order which have proved to be crucial in the side’s success. While Pandya’s 186 runs have come at a strike-rate of almost 192, Pollard’s 185 runs have come at a rate of almost 178.
Among batsmen to have scored more than 100 runs in the 2019 edition, only KKR’s Andre Russell has a better strike-rate than Pandya and Pollard. The two hard-hitting batsmen have together combined to account for 30 sixes this season and they possess the ability to change the complexion of the game in the blink of an eye.
INDIA OPENERS ROHIT AND DHAWAN FACE OFF
Thursday’s clash will see India’s limited-overs opening pairing of Rohit Sharma and Dhawan face up to one another. While Dhawan has been a steadying influence on his return to his hometown franchise, Rohit has struggled to hit the heights which have been expected from him at Mumbai this season.
The Mumbai skipper has returned to his favoured opening slot after a dismal individual campaign in 2018 but it has so far failed to yield the desired results. In eight innings so far, the right-hander is only averaging 27.57 with no half-centuries to show.
In contrast, Dhawan is averaging a healthy 36.57 with the left-hander already registering two half-centuries including one innings where he remained unbeaten on 97.
How the two India openers fare for their respective sides at Delhi could very well have a result-defining impact.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Keemo Paul, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra.
Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jason Behrendorrf, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.
KXIP posted a challenging total of 182-6 after a late burst of 17 off four balls from captain Ravi Ashwin, who then returned to pick up 2-24 in a 12-run win over the Royals in Mohali. Punjab rose to fourth in the points table with their fifth win, which pleased the skipper along with the spirited bowling of debutant left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh who got the wicket of the dangerous Jos Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane .
“Very important to get that 10-point mark and I guess it’s the right time in the tournament to do that. It’s very tough to defend here as the wicket generally gets better in the second half. We probably we were 10-15 runs short on this pitch and I thought Arshdeep bowled really well in the first few overs,” Ashwin said.
“We had some plans for Jos (Buttler) and he (Arshdeep) really executed well. Arshdeep can swing the ball both ways and for a left-hander to swing both ways is a massive advantage. We are looking forward to Arshdeep doing some great things in the tournament.”
Ashwin himself has been in great form with the ball in IPL 2019, taking 11 wickets from nine games. The off-spinner said he continues to work on his craft.
“For me, it’s about getting various lengths with different speeds and trying to get the batsman with under cutter and reverse carom. I worked on a lot of things despite people actually calling me for trying too many things I kept on going.”