Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals, Dubai

Pro Tip: The in-form opening batsmen KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are key for crucial points.

Our XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, M Ashwin, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada

Substitutes: Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi, Nicholas Pooran, Prithvi Shaw

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.

Player availability: Rishabh Pant is back in training after sustaining a hamstring injury last week and might be fit to play against the Kings XI. All other players are also available for selection.

Captain: KL Rahul

Rahul has just been scoring runs for fun this season. He has already scored 525 runs at a strike rate of 135.65, including five half-centuries and a hundred. In Dubai, he has got 304 runs at a strike rate of 146.85. Rahul is surely the best choice as captain.

Vice-captain: Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan has found good form recently. He has scored two half-centuries and a hundred in his last three innings while remaining unbeaten in two of those. Dhawan's strike rate in the powerplay during those three knocks is 156.81, which is significantly higher than earlier.

Hot Picks

Axar Patel: Patel has been an unsung hero for the Capitals this season. He has picked up seven wickets and has the second-best economy rate of 5.59 in the tournament among all bowlers who have bowled 100 or more balls so far. Also, Patel's 56 runs have come at a strike rate of 175.

Rishabh Pant: Pant should be available to play after his injury, and will be looking to finally make a significant contribution. Since 2018, he has a great record against legspinners, with 323 runs at a strike rate of 153.08, getting dismissed only every 42 balls. Pant might face a lot of legspin from the Kings XI in the middle overs, and hence is a good pick.

Mayank Agarwal: Agarwal has provided a great start to the Kings XI almost every game, having scored 393 runs at a strike rate of 159.10. He scored 89 the last time these two sides met in the tournament, and is the second-highest run-getter so far this season.

Differential Picks

M Ashwin: Ashwin has played only four games this season but has been very impressive. He has picked up six wickets at an economy of 7.65. Among all legspinners who have bowled 50 or more balls so far in the tournament, Ashwin has the best average of 14.66 and strike rate of 11.50.

Anrich Nortje: Nortje has been terrific for the Capitals. He has bowled and picked up wickets in crunch situations, with 12 wickets in the tournament so far at an economy of 7.75. Among all bowlers who have bowled 50 or more balls at the death this season, Nortje has the best economy of 8.07.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Nicholas Pooran should also be considered in the XI. This season, though Agarwal has averaged 52.66 in the first innings at a strike rate of 177.52, nearly 69% of Pooran's total runs have come in the second innings at a strike rate of 185.55. So if the Kings XI bat first, go with Agarwal, but choose Pooran if they bat second.

  • With the number of left-handed batsmen in the Capitals' line-up, Arshdeep Singh can also be considered in place of M Ashwin.