After the Mumbai Indians versus Chennai Super Kings game in Abu Dhabi, the cricketing action will move to Dubai as Delhi Capitals (DC) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) kick-start their Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaigns, squaring off in the second game of the tournament on Sunday.
A battle within a battle
As the teams battle it out in the middle, in Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, the game offers a chance to witness two young leaders going up against each other. IPL 2019 was Iyer’s first full season as DC captain while IPL 2020 is the first season when Rahul will be leading the side. Although their batting will be closely watched and followed, the two will have their eyes on the bigger prize – an elusive IPL trophy for their sides.
Five players to watch out for:
While both the sides have plenty of players who can change the course of the match, here are our top five picks who could make an impact at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
To put it mildly, KL Rahul was absolutely breathtaking with the bat over the last two seasons for Kings XI Punjab, amassing over 1250 runs, with 12 fifties and a hundred. Named KXIP skipper this season, he will be eager to resume from where he left last season and get the team to a flying start in the IPL 2020. The stylish right-hander uses his bat like a wand and with his wide range of strokes, you just cannot take your eyes off him.
If Rahul can use deft touches and steal the show, Chris Gayle can use brute force to set the ball rolling for his team. The Universe Boss holds the record for the most hundreds (6) in the IPL, in addition to 28 fifties, and has close to 4500 runs against his name. With his ability to clear the fence with utter ease and score at a brisk pace, Gayle remains a force to reckon with.
Shreyas Iyer led Delhi Capitals to the final four last year and will be out to make a point to guide them a step further this season. The right-handed batsman can attack at will and has a good mix of power-game and delicate strokeplay in his batting arsenal,which makes him one of the players to watch out for.
Unconventional, audacious, powerful, cheeky and effective. Rishabh Pant, the Delhi Capitals’ wicketkeeper, is one of the most entertaining batsmen going around. The left-hander, batting in the middle order, has all the traits to change the game on its head in a matter of few balls.
Pace, bowling variations, a knack of being effective at any stage of the game and an ability to deliver under pressure makes Kagiso Rabada a desirable prospect for any side. He was extremely impressive in the IPL 2019, scalping 25 wickets in 12 games, and DC will be more than happy if he starts firing with all cylinders from the first game of the IPL 2020 season.
The young spinner from Afghanistan possesses more than a handful of variations in his bowling repertoire and hence, on the tracks across the United Arab Emirates (for this game, in Dubai), Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, who can bowl well in the powerplays, would be one to watch out for.
Highest score at the venue
Sunrisers Hyderabad 184/1 vs Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2014
· Chris Gayle is 16 short of 4500 IPL runs
· KL Rahul needs 23 runs to complete 2000 IPL runs
· 3 more scalps and Amit Mishra will complete 100 wickets for the Delhi franchise
· Rishabh Pant needs 6 more sixes to complete 100 IPL sixes