There’s little doubt as to who are the favourites when the Kings XI Punjab take on the Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday. With 8 wins in 10 games, Punjab are top of the points table. Delhi, with 8 losses from 11 matches — including their last six — are bottom of the table and out of contention.
Delhi had finished last in 2013’s IPL and it seems unlikely they will be able to change their form despite going in for a new-look squad and coaching staff this time around. Kevin Pietersen has appeared out of touch, and has a highest score of 35 in eight innings. Dinesh Karthik — the second most expensive buy at the IPL auction — has done slightly better with a couple of fifties. JP Duminy (340 runs at 56.66) and Kedar Jadhav (142 runs at 47.33) have scored useful runs but they have been batting too low down the order to be able to hit decisive knocks.
KXIP on the other hand have had little trouble this season, even while chasing 200-plus totals this season. Glenn Maxwell has been their talisman with 517 runs at a strike rate of 198.0. But what makes the side so successful is that they are not entirely dependent on him. David Miller has 321 runs while Virender Sehwag (251 runs) has repeatedly got the side off to strong starts. The only question mark for Punjab appeared to be in the second opener’s position, although Manan Vohra, who scored a 20-ball 47 in his first game of the season against Hyderabad, appears to have eased some of those fears.
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