After a thrilling win for Chennai Super Kings in the opening game of the 2018 Indian Premier League, we know that we are all set for a thrilling season. Game two approaches as Punjab take on Delhi Daredevils at home, and both teams are playing a completely revamped squad, inclusive of new captains.
Well, remember not to pick the Australians for this opening game for KXIP and DD. Aaron Finch is getting married today, and Glenn Maxwell will also be a part of his wedding in Australia. What that means is that Chris Gayle will be opening the innings for Punjab, and even though his powers have been declining over the years, we all know what he is capable of!
Punjab also have a certain Mayank Agarwal, who has been in fabulous form, while the real threat comes in bowler Andrew Tye. He picked 12 wickets in 6 games last year and I won’t be surprised if his knuckle ball takes a few wickets today as well. For Delhi, remember, Liam Plunkett has replaced the injured Kagiso Rabada for the whole season.
While Punjab have the deadly Gayle at the top of the order, Delhi have the Kiwi Colin Munro, who hasn’t proved himself much in the subcontinent, but I believe he can be equally destructive as Gayle once he gets going! A lot will also be depending on the young Shreyas Iyer, who is just 23, but is one of their top batsmen at the moment.
Punjab will be led by Ravi Ashwin, and I haven’t seen a lot of his captaincy over the years. As a player, he hasn’t been too good with the ball in limited overs games, giving away far too many runs, and not being a regular part of the wickets either. However, he will have help from the likes of Yuvraj Singh.
Delhi will be led by Gautam Gambhir, who returns to the DD squad after years of playing with KKR, who he led to two IPL titles as well. Remember, he has been one of the leading scorers in the IPL history, and easily one of the most consistent batsmen as well. A good start from him could guarantee DD a high total if they bat first.
My verdict would be to back Kings XI Punjab today. Both are wounded teams that have not been performing over the years and have not even won a single IPL title. However, for the likes of Gayle and Yuvraj, this is a year to salvage some pride and could possibly be their last season of the Indian Premier League. Back them to do well!
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