Eyeing for their maiden triumph, Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will square off in the IPL 2020 contest at the Dubai International Cricket stadium. KL Rahul will be leading the KXIP franchise for the first time and their will be a lot of expectations on his shoulder.
To be fair, KXIP have a decent mix of players, but winning the IPL 2020 title will also need luck to favour them. Ahead of the fixture, let us have a look at how KXIP can shape up for the match.
KL Rahul will continue to open the batting for KXIP. He was in red-hot form in previous edition of the IPL and will look to continue in similar fashion. It will be a personal test for him as well, which will check if he can absorb the captaincy pressure and score run with his natural ability.
Veteran West Indies batsman Chris Gayle will open the batting along side KL Rahul. The duo have looked solid at the top and stitched a few important partnerships in the recent times. Gayle is one of the cleanest hitters off the ball and when his bat does the talking he is hard to be stopped. Veteran West Indies batsman Gayle has established himself as a powerful striker of the ball not only for his national team but also in franchise leagues across the world. Today, there is hardly any league left, where Chris Gayle has not made his presence felt.
Mayank Agarwal is a solid batsman at the top of the order but he had a poor outing with KXIP in the previous edition. Agarwal, however, will look to improve his game and comeback stronger in IPL 2020. His performance will also be crucial in the lucrative tournament which comes just ahead of India’s tour Down Under.
KXIP will have high hopes from Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, especially after his sensational knock in the final ODI against England. Maxwell stepped in a position when Australia were reeling at 73/5, chasing a total of 303 runs. He played a blistering knock of 108 runs off 90 deliveries and was well supported by wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey (106) as they forged a match-winning stand of 212 runs for the visitors.
West Indies powerhouse Nicholas Pooran can come in handy for KXIP. If he gets going, he can decimate an opposition with his power-hitting. Pooran has scored only 168 runs from six innings in the IPL but it is not a fair reflection of what the batsman is capable of.
Mandeep Singh has been a crucial player in the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) line-up over the years. He will continue to play a crucial role in the set up. The Punjab batsman has an ability to play quick fire cameos and rotate the strike with ease to maintain a healthy strike rate.
Krishnappa Gowtham will provide the much needed depth in the KXIP batting line-up. The franchise has struggled to bat deep over the years, however, Gowtham can change things around for the side. He was traded from Rajasthan Royals ahead of the season and can prove to be an underdog for the side.
Sheldon Cottrell is set to make his debut in IPL for KXIP. Cottrell can prove to be handy for the side and find his place ahead of Chris Jordan. Cottrell, who has proved his prowess in international cricket, was bought for INR 8.5 crore in the players’ auction. He will join the likes of Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran in the franchise.
Senior India pacer Mohammed Shami will spearhead the fast bowling department for Kings XI Punjab. Shami is fit and raring to go in the IPL 2020. Shami said that the temperature in UAE is much higher than India and thus there are chances of getting dehydrated or cramps.
Murugan Ashwin will have a much prominent role to play for KXIP after playing under the shadow of Ravichandran Ashwin and Mujeeb ur Rahman in previous edition. KXIP will largely depend on him as the pitches in UAE are on the slower side and expected to assist the spinners.