IPL 2019 Fantasy: Dale Steyn and Moeen Ali among top picks for RCB v KXIP

Ashish Peter 23/04/2019
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Dale Steyn and Moeen key for RCB. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season heads into match 42 with Royal Challengers Bangalore set to host Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday.

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)

The veteran Windies opener returns to stadium where he has previously registered three of his six IPL tons and that fact itself is enough to warrant a selection in our Fantasy line up.

That he has been in terrific form this campaign bodes well too with Gayle already amassing 421 runs so far in nine innings. An average of 52.62 and a strike-rate of nearly 160 is what the Jamaican has brought to the table for KXIP and he will be itching to prove a point against the franchise that opted against retaining his services in 2018.

The explosive left-hander has already struck a quick-fire unbeaten 99 against RCB at Mohali this year and all signs are currently pointing to another strong display at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

BOWLER

Dale Steyn – Royal Challengers Bangalore (8.5 credits)

The veteran South Africa pacer was a late arrival to the IPL but has already created a significant impact in just two matches for RCB.

Having returned to the franchise after a gap of nine years, Steyn has played a crucial hand in the victories over CSK and KKR with his early wickets.

In both the appearances he had made this season, the Proteas ace has struck twice inside the powerplay overs to give RCB a roaring start with the ball. Although he has been slightly expensive in the death overs, Steyn remains an excellent wicket-taking threat for Virat Kohli.

His individual duel with Gayle will be an intriguing one to watch and he can be expected to make early inroads once again if the new-ball swings.

ALL-ROUNDER

Moeen Ali – Royal Challengers Bangalore (9 credits)

Royal Challengers’ recent resurgence in the IPL table has come thanks in so small part to Moeen Ali.

The England all-rounder looked lost in the early stages of the competition but he has now started to turn the screw and show why Kohli has been right in persisting with him.

His latest showing was an entertaining and crucial cameo of 26 (16) down the order in the win over CSK. Before that innings, Moeen had struck two quick-fire half-centuries on the trot against Mumbai Indians and KKR.

His form with the ball hasn’t been too bad either with his off-spin fetching him five wickets so far while his economy-rate has remained well below seven.

With the form he currently is in, expect Moeen to play a significant role for RCB once again on Wednesday.

Moeen in ominous form. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Moeen in ominous form. Image – @IPL/Twitter.

WICKETKEEPER

KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab (10.5 credits)

Along with Gayle, it will also be a homecoming for KL Rahul who made his IPL debut in 2013 with RCB. Like in 2018, the right-hander has once again been in excellent form for the Punjab franchise with his opening partnership with Gayle proving pivotal in several wins.

Having scored nearly 400 runs with a batting average of 57, Rahul has matched Gayle almost stride for stride with the help of one ton and four fifties.

His solid form has already earned him a maiden World Cup call up for India and he will be determined to put in another good show on his return to his home state.

CAPTAIN – KL Rahul

VICE CAPTAIN – Moeen Ali

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IPL 2019: Gayle set to return to his old stomping ground as RCB prepare for KXIP's visit

Ashish Peter 23/04/2019
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Gayle returns to his old den. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Two teams with completely contrasting forms but an equal desperation for victory will clash in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) when Royal Challengers Bangalore play host to Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday.

While Bangalore remain rooted to bottom spot with three wins in nine clashes so far, KXIP find themselves just out of the play-off places with 10 points from as many games.

GAYLE RETURNS TO OLD STOMPING GROUND

The meeting between the two sides will see Chris Gayle return to his old stomping ground at the Chinnaswamy Stadium where he spent seven IPL seasons with the Bengaluru franchise.

The passionate RCB fans will know what to expect from the explosive left-handed opener who registered as many as five IPL tons during his stint with the outfit. Despite his contributions, Gayle was ignored by RCB in the 2018 auction and nearly went unsold before he was picked up by Kings XI.

The veteran Jamaican has been in sensational form for KXIP this campaign where he is averaging nearly 53 with the bat while maintaining a strike-rate of almost 160.

Gayle will have a point to prove once again to his former employers against whom he has already struck an unbeaten 64-ball 99 in the reverse fixture at Mohali two weeks ago.

Gayle (r) had plenty of memorable displays for RCB.

Gayle (r) had plenty of memorable displays for RCB.

MOMENTUM WITH RCB

While all eyes will be on Gayle’s return to the Chinnaswamy, the hosts will be quietly confident of achieving a positive result following their resurgence of late. After losing six matches on the trot, Virat Kohli and his men have turned things around recently with three victories in their last four outings.

The latest of those wins was a dramatic one against Chennai Super Kings where they withstood a sensational MS Dhoni assault to grab a one-run win.

The arrival of Dale Steyn as a replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile has proved to be crucial with the South African pacer giving the side roaring starts with the ball against both CSK and Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Bangalore outfit are still up against it when it comes to play-off qualification but another victory on Wednesday could see them bounce right back into contention.

KXIP IN DANGER OF REPEATING 2018 HORROR SHOW

While RCB might have started to turn things around, the same cannot be said for KXIP who are currently on a downward spiral. Ravichandran Ashwin and his men were excellent in the first-half of the campaign but the wheels have started to come off lately with just one victory to show for in their last four matches.

The three recent defeats have seen the franchise drop out of the top-four places and another one of them on Wednesday could be a big blow to their play-off ambitions given how tight the race is turning out to be.

KXIP will be desperate to avoid a repeat of their 2018 campaign where they started the season on fire before enduring a disastrous second-half which saw them ultimately finish seventh in the table.

TEAM NEWS

Kings XI mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman missed the recent clash against Delhi Capitals with an injury and he is likely to remain sidelined once again with no updates yet on his fitness.

LIKELY XIs

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), AB de Villiers, Akshdeep Nath, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis, Pawan Negi, Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Kings XI Punjab: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (wk), Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Harpreet Brar, Ravi Ashwin (c), Hardus Viljoen, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami.

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IPL 2019: Final shifted from Chennai to Hyderabad after failure to resolve issue of closed stands

Sudhir Gupta 22/04/2019
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IPL final to now be held in Hyderabad. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

The final of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign will now be held in Hyderabad instead of Chennai after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) failed to resolve the issue of the three empty stands.

While the final will now be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad on May 12, the Eliminator and second Qualifier clashes will now take place at Visakhapatnam. The Chepauk stadium in Chennai, meanwhile, will play host to the first Qualifier on May 7.

With Chennai Super Kings being the defending champions of the IPL, the Chepauk stadium had been earlier given the rights to host the final. However, three stands at the Chennai stadium have remained closed for spectators since 2012 after the TNCA failed to get the required fit certificate from the municipal corporation.

Following complaints from broadcasters, the BCCI and its Committee of Administration (CoA) had given Chennai Super Kings and TNCA one week to sort of the issue after a meeting of the IPL governing council in Delhi.

With the Chepauk authorities failing to get the requisite permission in time, it was Hyderabad which was declared as the final’s venue due to the Sunrisers finishing as the runners-up in 2018.

According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the BCCI preferred Mumbai and Bengaluru as the venues for the playoffs but had to opt for Visakhapatnam due to a paucity of time as well as the fact that India’s general elections are currently ongoing.

PLAY-OFFS AND FINAL SCHEDULE

May 7, Tuesday

Qualifier 1 – Chennai

May 8, Wednesday

Eliminator – Visakhapatnam

May 10, Friday

Qualifier 2 – Visakhapatnam

May 12, Sunday

Final – Hyderabad

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