IPL 2018: Key player battles to watch out for ahead of DD-KXIP clash

While DD will look to climb up from the bottom of the table, KXIP will hope to continue their good run in the tournament.

New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi Daredevils (DD) are all set to welcome Ravichandran Ashwin’s Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) when the two teams lock horns in the 22nd match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Monday.

DD have suffered the same fate which they have in the previous seasons, as they are currently placed last of the eight-team points table, with just one win out of five games.

The only match they won was against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium so far.

On the contrary, KXIP have enjoyed a good season so far, with the only exception being that of their four-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

They are currently second in the table with eight points, behind table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) with the same number of points.

Ahead of the all-important clash, we look at the key player battles to watch out for.

Ravichandran Ashwin vs Gautam Gambhir

The battle of the captains is definitely the one fans are looking forward to. Ashwin has done a good job in terms of captaincy, leading the team to four wins out of five games, but with just five wickets in five games, cricket-lovers would expect much more from him.

Meanwhile, Guatam Gambhir’s fortunes changed right after the opening match against KXIP at Mohali. After having scored 55 in the first match, his next run of scores read figures of 15, 8 and 3 runs respectively, with the captain not needing to bat in the match against RR.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman vs Rishab Pant

While Mujeeb Ur Rahman is KXIP’s fourth leading wicket-taker, Rishab Pant is already the leading run-scorer for DD with 123 runs.

One of the few Afghan players in the IPL, Mujeeb, too, has created a reputation in the tournament, having picked up four wickets from five matches so far.

Meanwhile, Pant will be coming to the match fresh from his knock of 85 against RCB, which unfortunately went in vain. However, hopes will be pinned on the left-handed batsman as he continues to make an impact in the cash-rich league.

Chris Gayle vs Trent Boult

Arguably, the cricketer most or all of the teams fear would be that of the ‘Universal Boss’, Chris Gayle.

After having been omitted from the team for the first two matches, Gayle kicked off his IPL 2018 campaign in style with scores of 63, 104 and 62* against CSK, SRH and KKR so far.

In fact, the West Indian big-hitter has responded well to the reason why he was just picked up in the third round of the IPL auctions.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Trent Boult is the leading wicket-taker for DD (7 wickets), and he had something more to celebrate after his stunning one-handed catch to dismiss RCB’s Virat Kohli in the previous match.

All in all, Boult will be the go-to man when it comes to DD’s bowling.

KL Rahul vs Rahul Tewatia

As the name suggests, the battle of ‘Rahul’s’ is all set to take centre stage during the DD-KXIP clash. While one has been known for scoring runs, the other, obviously, is known to taking wickets.

KL Rahul could have got to his second fifty in the previous match against KKR had he converted the 47 in the first game to another fifty. Irrespective of that though, he is already the second highest run-scorer (213 runs) for KXIP, 16 runs behind the big-hitting Chris Gayle (229).

On the other hand, Tewatia also shares the same privilege of being the second most wicket-taker for DD, with six wickets. Only Boult has one better of him, with seven wickets.

So, will R Ashwin lead KXIP to a morale-boosting win or will Gambhir’s Daredevils climb up from the bottom of the table?

When is the match?

The match is scheduled to start at 8 P.M. IST on Monday (April 23).

Where is the match?

The match will take place at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, New Delhi.

Live telecast and timings:

With Star India now acquiring the media rights from Sony Pictures Network India for the upcoming season, the matches will be telecast on various Star Sports channels.

Live streaming:

The matches can be viewed live on or on the Hotstar app.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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