Kings XI Punjab will be looking to extend the winning run when they come up against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday.
As we enter the final quarter of the group stage in IPL 2020, race for the top four is heating up. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) remains in contention for a place in the playoffs, but they will have to win every game from now and hope for favourable results in other games. After winning two big games, KXIP gear up to face Delhi Capitals (DC) on October 20 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
While KXIP is fighting to survive in the tournament, DC will be looking to seal the spot in the top four by clinching a win on Tuesday. The Delhi based team has been in phenomenal form throughout the tournament, losing only two games till now. With a victory on Tuesday, DC will have 16 points, which is enough for qualifying for playoffs.
KXIP comes into this game on the back of a stunning win in the second super over against Mumbai Indians. They wouldn’t want to find themselves in a similar situation soon and finish the game in normal circumstances. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal will be the key men with the bat, while Chris Gayle’s good form is also a boost to KXIP’s middle order. Glenn Maxwell may get the axe as he is yet to post a good score in the tournament.
Meanwhile, DC is likely to welcome Rishabh Pant back in the starting lineup. His arrival will also help the team to bring Shimron Hetmyer back into the fold. Shikhar Dhawan will be the main man at the top of the order after scoring a sublime ton against Chennai Super Kings. Prithvi Shaw, Dhawan’s opening partner, needs a good score after getting out for ducks in the past couple of games.
DC has clicked as a batting unit in almost every game this season, so it will be a formidable challenge for KXIP to stop them. KXIP will have to bowl much better than they have done lately. They cannot afford to leak runs in death against DC as they did against MI. Mohammed Shami bowled beautifully in super over, so KXIP will be hoping that he brings his best during 20 overs to restrict the opponent from scoring in death overs.
Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have been the best pace duo in the tournament. The South African bowlers have been bamboozling opponents with accurate fast bowling. DC will be tempted to rest one due to exertions of the tournament, but they would be in a much better position to afford such changes in the next few games if they clinch win on Tuesday.
KXIP has finally found a way to get over the line in tight games, so the contest against DC could be an intriguing one. DC looks to be favourites, but KXIP has the batting heavyweights that can beat any opposition on their day.
By Kiran Thakare