Punjab Kings will hope to make it to wins on the trot to build some momentum as the IPL reaches its midway stage.kxp
The Northern Derby will be reignited in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League on Sunday as Punjab Kings prepare for a clash against the Delhi Capitals at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Both sides head into that game off the back of commanding wins, and will be eager to build on that momentum and string in a succession of good performances as the IPL reaches its midway stage.
Punjab Kings have a better head-to-head record against their Northern neighbours, but it was Rishabh Pant’s team who won the previous clash between these two teams. Delhi Capitals however haven’t won two games against Punjab in the same season since 2015. KL Rahul’s side have won three of the last five games against Delhi which were played in India, and will be optimistic to add to that tally come Sunday.
Batting de Baadshah
KL Rahul reclaimed that Orange Cap on Friday after top scoring for Punjab Kings yet again against Bangalore. The 29-year-old scored 91* in that game as he continued that record of scoring a half century in every alternate game of IPL 2021. Having found his feet now at the Narendra Modi Stadium, a venue where he struggled to get runs in the recent past, Rahul would be confident of another big score now.
Shikhar Dhawan seems to be the closest competitor to Rahul’s Orange Cap at the moment, as he too has made a good start to IPL 2021. The southpaw top scored for Delhi in the reverse fixture between the top franchises, and would be eager to get another big score under his kitty in Ahmedabad. Dhawan has a good record against Punjab Kings, with two fifties and a century in his last five games against them as well.
Bowling de Kings
Mohammed Shami added another wicket to his tally for 2021 in the game against RCB, as he leapfrogged teammate Arshdeep Singh to become Punjab Kings’ leading wicket-taker for the season. Shami’s best bowling performance in the IPL of 3/15 came against the Delhi Capitals, and he would be looking forward to match or even better that come Sunday.
Avesh Khan made a great start to IPL 2021, picking up five wickets in his first two games. The fast bowler has been a handy customer for his franchise in those middle overs, picking up wickets at regular intervals. Khan also has a good economy rate of under 7.5 for the season, which has helped Delhi Capitals keep things tight in the middle overs.
Mudde di Baat
Delhi Capitals currently sit near the top of the table with five wins so far in the competition, but they wouldn’t be overly confident about this game as Punjab Kings have demonstrated a tendency of performing well against the big teams. Punjab outfoxed Bangalore in their last game and would be confident of getting one over Delhi as well to climb up further in the points table.
- KL Rahul is the only player to be involved in two 100+ partnerships with different partners in IPL 2021 so far.
- Ravi Bishnoi has an economy rate of 4.75 currently in IPL 2021.
- KL Rahul has a strike rate of over 275 against Amit Mishra in the IPL.
KL Rahul (c and wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Riley Meredith.
Punjab Kings wouldn’t want to make too many changes to that winning combination, but Nicholas Pooran could be given some time out to allow Dawid Malan a chance at number four. Mayank Agarwal could also return from injury to replace Prabhsimran Singh.
NOTE: The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.