Delhi Capitals will be up against mid-table team Kings XI Punjab, who are also eyeing the title that has so far elusive.
Seeking home comfort after multiple defeats at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi Capitals (DC) will be desperate to buck the trend when they take on a rejuvenated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on April 20.
The last time that these two teams met was at Mohali where a Sam Curran hat-trick helped KXIP win by a 14-run margin after a spectacular batting collapse following Rishabh Pant’s dismissal.
Apart from that result, Delhi Capitals have been at ease on the road, winning three matches on the trot after an authoritative beginning in Mumbai. However, things have turned out quite differently in their home ground, where they found the pitches far from friendly.
After losing to Mumbai, Delhi will now be up against KXIP, who are also eyeing the title that has so far elusive.
Ravichandran Ashwin's outfit will not be short on confidence, having easily beaten Rajasthan Royals three days ago.
The likes of Chris Gayle, K L Rahul, David Miller and Mohammed Shami will look to capitalise on Delhi's miserable record at home, and with Ashwin leading from the front, it may not be an improbable task for the confident visiting team.
Shreyas Iyer and Co have only one win from their four home matches, the lone victory coming in the Super Over after the match against Kolkata Knight Riders ended in a tie.
Rishabh Pant will again be in focus after his fiercely-debated World Cup exclusion, having failed in Thursday's defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians.
Disappointed at being ignored for the showpiece, the highly-rated young wicketkeeper-batsman will certainly look to prove a point.
Smarting from the onslaught by the Pandya brothers -- Hardik and Krunal, who smashed 54 runs in the last 19 balls on a slow pitch, the Delhi bowlers will hope for a better outing at the death.
In batting, the onus will be on senior statesman Shikhar Dhawan to lay the foundation, and he will have the talented Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order.
After suffering their third defeat in four outings here this season, Iyer had said, "It's really important for us to win home games, especially on these tracks.
"Unfortunately we lost the toss, and we got outplayed in all three departments. We practice on the pitches that are also slow. But when you come here, it's totally different. We have to get used to these conditions."
For his team to harbour hopes of a rare win, skipper Iyer, himself, will need to lead by example.
Timing – 8 pm
Venue – Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi.
Where to watch – Star Sports 1/1HD/1 Hindi/1HD Hindi/1 Tamil/1 Telugu/1 Kannada/1 Bangla/Select 1/Select 1HD. Online viewers can catch the action live on Hotstar.
Head to head: The two teams have played 23 matches so far with Punjab winning 14 as compared to Delhi’s 9 victories.
Both teams do not have any fresh injury scares. Delhi could make a change to their playing XI and bring back Sandeep Lamichhane. KXIP could deploy an unchanged side.
Prediction: who will win?
Delhi haven’t been impressive at home but they have a formidable spin attack and could come out on top if they get their combinations right.
Betting odds (bet 365)
Delhi Capitals: 10/11
Kings XI Punjab: 10/11
Other popular bets can be viewed on Oddschecker.com.
Feroz Shah Kotla Pitch Report: Delhi Capitals spin bowling coach Samuel Badree feels that the spinners have a huge role to play on a slow pitch at the Kotla and has predicted that team selection is going to be crucial ahead of their match against Punjab.
Moneycontrol Dream XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (WK), Shikhar Dhawan (C), Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Sam Curran, Axar Patel, M Ashwin, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris.
Players to watch out for:
Shikhar Dhawan (DC)
The Delhi opener has been in good form and is Delhi’s highest run-scorer this season with 291 runs from just 9 games. His best performance was the unbeaten 97* against KKR at the Eden Gardens.
KL Rahul (KXIP)
The Punjab batsman has surpassed his opening partner Chris Gayle and sits second on the list of top run-scorers this season. He has 387 runs from 9 games even scoring an unbeaten 100* against Mumbai Indians this season.
IPL Points Table:
Delhi occupy the third spot on the table with 10 points from 9 games. KXIP are tied on points with DC but occupy fourth spot due to their net run rate. Check out the updated points table here.(With PTI Inputs)The Great Diwali Discount!
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