Delhi Capitals v Kings XI Punjab, Dubai
Trust the proven consistency of KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, especially at the beginning of the tournament.
Our XI:KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, R Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ishan Porel, Kagiso Rabada
Substitutes: Axar Patel, Nicholas Pooran, Prithvi Shaw, Chris Jordan
Player availability: Ishant Sharma has picked up an injury during training, and might be sidelined for the game.
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: KL Rahul
KL Rahul has done very little wrong in the last two years when it comes to white-ball cricket, with the T20 format being his forte. An average of 51.12 at a strike-rate of 142.53 in 38 innings (since 2019) is astonishing, even if Rahul plays as an opener more often than not. He is an automatic choice for captain.
Vice-captain: Shikhar Dhawan
After a slow start last season, Dhawan found form and scored heavily, at a brisk pace, in the second half of the season. He ended IPL 2019 as the fourth highest run-getter with 521 runs at a strike rate of 135.68. Dhawan providing a solid start is something critical to Delhi's success this season, and we are backing him to do that especially when the pitches are at their best.
Rishabh Pant: Pant is someone who gets you a lot of boundary points and that could make a difference. Many would say he had an ordinary season last time around but he still managed to score 488 runs at a typical strike rate of 162.67. His points from behind the stumps combined with his ability to win games on his own with the bat make him a must-have.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Mujeeb is coming off a dream CPL, picking up 16 wickets in 11 games at an economy of 5.29, despite bowling the majority of his overs in the powerplay. On slow wickets in the UAE, he should continue to spin a web around the opposition batsmen.
Kagiso Rabada: The best pacer by a distance last season with 25 wickets in just 12 games at an economy of 7.83 and a strike rate of 11.28. Rabada invariably picked up a wicket every two overs. He is the spearhead of the Capitals.
Sarfaraz Khan: Khan is an exciting talent and if given opportunities, can play some match defining knocks. He scored 180 runs in five innings last season at a strike rate of 125.87. He could play the anchor or even the finisher for KXIP. The youngster has a terrific strike rate of 182.07 at the death in all T20s.
Ishan Porel: The right arm quick was part of the India U-19 squad that went on to win the World Cup in 2018. Since then, he has had some success in the domestic circuit as well. In his rather short career so far, Porel has picked up 16 wickets at an economy of 6.11 in the format. He is definitely a player to watch out for this season.
Points to note
The average first-innings score at the venue in all T20s since 2018 is 152.
Axar Patel for Mayank Agarwal is an option to keep in mind if the pitch doesn't look the best for batting.