The bandwagon finally rolls into Delhi as the Daredevils host their first match. Here are the top Fantasy tips and players to pick as bottom Delhi Daredevils host 2nd Kings XI Punjab.
**UPDATE – 7:40pm – Chris Gayle and Chris Morris both miss out, so instead of Ben Stokes -> Chris Gayle, my sub is Chris Morris -> Aaron Finch, Finch will open the batting, as Ashwin confirmed at the toss.**
1 Gautam Gambhir (c) 2 Jason Roy 3 Shreyas Iyer 4 Rishabh Pant (wk) 5 Glenn Maxwell 6 Vijay Shankar 7 Chris Morris 8 Rahul Tewatia 9 Shahbaz Nadeem 10 Mohammad Shami 11 Trent Boult
Kings XI Punjab
1 Chris Gayle 2 KL Rahul (wk) 3 Mayank Agarwal 4 Yuvraj Singh 5 Aaron Finch 6 Karun Nair 7 R Ashwin (c) 8 Andrew Tye 9 Barinder Sran 10 Ankit Rajpoot 11 Mujeeb Zadran
Here is my squad for the match.
Subs Used – 1
Subs Left – 47
Ben Stokes -> Chris Gayle
Sanju Samson -> Mayank Agarwal
Power Player – KL Rahul
2nd Innings Power Player – Chris Gayle (if DD bat first)/Rishabh Pant (if KXIP bat first)
In Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris, I have more than enough cover for Delhi. Pant seems to be in the form of his life – some of the shots he played against Bangalore were simply outrageous. Kotla is also his home ground – he led Delhi in the Ranji Trophy this season, so he knows this ground inside out. Kotla should be flat, and has freakishly small boundaries, so runs should be on the menu today. Pant has shown remarkable consistency – he’s scored at least 20 in every match so far, and also keeps. A top pick if you don’t have him already.
Chris Morris seems off-colour, so I’m not entrusting him with Power Player duties anymore, but he’s a class act who’ll eventually come to the party. He seems to be misused in the batting order so far, perhaps because of the situational threat of leg-spinners (Rahul Tewatia was promoted above him in the last match, when Chahal had 2 overs to spare), but if he gets a chance he should be good to go. I’m keeping faith with him in my team, as a long Punjab tail could also be vulnerable to Morris’ death bowling if Punjab bat first/Delhi set up a decent total.
The others aren’t particularly interesting choices – Gambhir is off-form, Roy was made to dance like a cat on a hot-tin roof by Chahal – Mujeeb will look to do the same, Iyer hasn’t been that consistent yet, Maxwell bats too low.
Kings XI Punjab
It might be late, but I’m finally stepping on to the Gayle train. Punjab have 2 fixtures in the next 4, and he’ll face an insipid Delhi attack on what is likely to be a flat track. Only Trent Boult will be threatening to him, with his swing and seam – the rest will be like fodder. And given how Gayle’s gone about his business – he’ll play out Boult safely, or hand him over to Rahul. He had a poor record against Narine, but he wasn’t afraid to play out 4-5 balls dots because he knew he’ll take his chances later. A dangerous proposition to ignore anymore.
KL Rahul is another player in the form of his life – who’s actually been scoring faster than Gayle. Rahul is another player who’s mended his consistency with explosiveness – he’s yet to be dismissed for a single digit score. As he’s also a wicket-keeper, he can always amass those extra points, and he doesn’t seem to be scared of any form of bowling either – unlike Gayle, who’s watchful against quality swing and off-spin.
That’s enough from Punjab too – Yuvraj is in no form, Finch and Karun bat too low, Ashwin’s been on and off, Tye hasn’t offered explosive returns.
Mayank Agarwal is the top uncapped pick from the match – he’s shown flashes of his brilliance and seems to have a settled spot in the top 3, and the new Kotla is conducive to run-making. If you can’t afford him, Rahul Tewatia could be the best alternative – has been decent with the ball and Delhi have been using him at #6 with the bat, if a spinner is on.