Both these two sides will be looking to improve on their previous IPL campaigns after missing out on the playoffs in 2017. Both the Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab were restricted to the bottom four on the points table in IPL 10, they must find that hunger that the Mumbai Indians possessed when they claimed top spot & went on to win the title.
her IPL season that promised so much for the Kings XI Punjab in 2017, it came as quite a shock when they missed out on a top four finish given the amount of talent they had representing them throughout the tournament. South African superstar-batsman Hashim Amla certainly held up his end of the bargain for the team, averaging an impressive 60 from his ten matches which included two centuries. The next best for Punjab with the bat tends to explain a lot, almost indicative of how their IPL 10 plans unravelled right before their very own eyes. All-round Aussie entertainer Glenn Maxwell finished runner-up in the runs department for the Kings XI despite scoring no fifties with a top score of 47 from his 14 games, not to mention his three scoreless outings along the way. In serious need of a rebuild, they delivered just in time with some huge recruits ahead of the 2018 competition. After some spectacular performances under the captaincy of MS Dhoni at the Super Kings, off-spinner Ravi Ashwin will lead Punjab in IPL 11 along with a host of other major signings picked up in the IPL player auction. It’s going to be really interesting to see how the likes of Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh and David Miller all contribute as a batting unit. Gayle departs his beloved Royal Challengers Bangalore while Yuvraj Singh jumps over from Hyderabad and Finch gets bought after the Lions departure in the franchise. Their batting will clearly be their greatest asset in 2018, but the bowling appears to be pretty well-covered as well. Expect Ashwin to make an impact instantly as well as Australia’s Andrew Tye who continues to elevate his game in T20 cricket, one of the game’s most effective bowlers over the past year or so. While they lose their leading wicket-taker from last year in Sandeep Sharma, they managed to hold onto both Mohit Sharma and Axar Patel who both made healthy contributions in the wickets department last year. This team has the potential to go above & beyond in 2018, they just need to keep their eyes on the prize.
Eleven years in the competition and the Delhi Daredevils are still looking for their maiden title in the IPL. It’s been five-consecutive seasons since Delhi have even made the playoffs, they are often overlooked as title contenders given their trending-fluctuations throughout the tournament in the past. Having said all that, it was really promising to see the future stars of India show the biggest franchise in the world what they’re capable of, all three of Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer delivered some breathtaking-knocks with the willow in an otherwise-bleak 2017 campaign. While it’s disappointing they’ve lost Samson to the Royals, the positive is that they’ve managed to hold onto both Pant & Iyer who are going to be exciting propositions for this team once again in IPL 11. The Daredevils haven’t done half-bad in the player auction as well, picking up the Knight Riders leading run-scorer Gautam Gambhir and Kings XI castoff-Glenn Maxwell who should add plenty of X factor to the side in all three facets of the game. Along with Gambhir, Delhi has also picked up former Kolkata teammate Colin Munro who is set to light up the stage with his cataclysmic stroke-play. Add Gujarat’s Jason Roy to this roster, and this batting line-up is a much-feared outfit to come up against. It appears that the Daredevils were after some experience as well as renown superstars of the shortest format in the game, and they’ve certainly delivered on an entertainment front. Spinner Amit Mishra had an average showing in 2017 for his standards, so expect the veteran to bounce back with Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris and Trent Boult rounding off a pretty-intimidating attack. With so many overseas players to choose from, Delhi possesses flexibility more than anything else with the ability to rotate some absolute game breakers throughout their fixture.
The Daredevils have named English seamer Liam Plunkett as Kagiso Rabada’s replacement due to injury, while KL Rahul looks to be free from any injury concerns as Kings XI Punjab head into their season opener unscathed. Australia’s Aaron Finch will almost-certainly miss the first match of their fixture though after deciding to get married one day prior to Punjab’s opening fixture.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Kings XI Punjab | 2nd match | Chandigarh
- KL Rahul
- Ravi Ashwin
- Chris Gayle
- Andrew Tye
- David Miller
Wildcard pick – Mayank Agarwal
Top 5 fantasy picks | Delhi Daredevils | 2nd match | Chandigarh
- Gautam Gambhir
- Colin Munro
- Amit Mishra
- Glenn Maxwell
- Rishabh Pant
Wildcard pick – Shahbaz Nadeem
Kings XI Punjab (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle 2. Mayank Agarwal 3. KL Rahul (wk) 4. Yuvraj Singh 5. David Miller 6. Marcus Stoinis 7. Karun Nair/Manoj Tiwary 8. Ravi Ashwin © 9. Barinder Sran/Axar Patel 10. Andrew Tye 11. Mohit Sharma.
Delhi Daredevils (possible) – 1. Gautam Gambhir © 2. Colin Munro 3. Shreyas Iyer 4. Rishabh Pant (wk) 5. Dan Christian 6. Vijay Shankar 7. Chris Morris 8. Amit Mishra 9. Mohammed Shami 10. Shahbaz Nadeem 11. Trent Boult.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.