Mohali, April 29 (IANS) Back from four consecutive losses, Delhi Daredevils are in a do-or-die situation when they take on struggling Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 tie at the I.S. Bindra Stadium here on Sunday.
With just two wins from seven games, Delhi are languishing at the bottom of the league table while Punjab have three wins from eight outings to be placed at sixth.
Both Punjab and Delhi come into this match having been comprehensively beaten in their previous games against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively.
The Zaheer Khan-led side, which boasts of a world class pace battery comprising the likes of the skipper himself, along with Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Corey Anderson failed to contain the onslaught from the KKR duo of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa on Friday.
Batting first, Delhi posted a modest total of 160/6, thanks to opener Sanju Samson's 38-ball 60 and Shreyas Iyer's 47 off 34 balls before KKR rode on fine half centuries from Gambhir and Uthappa to tame the visitors by seven wickets at the Eden Gardens.
Delhi's middle order needs to step up to the occasion if they are to set a healthy total against a strong home batting line-up. A loss on Sunday will virtually bring the curtains down on Delhi's campaign in IPL-10.
On the other hand, after going down to Hyderabad by 26 runs on Friday, Punjab will hope to have back their in-form opener Hashim Amla, who missed the game with a hamstring injury.
But the hosts can take a lot of heart from Shaun Marsh's fighting spirit, who scored a valiant 84, studded with a range of shots. Punjab will also expect some runs from the willows of their captain Glenn Maxwell and Eoin Morgan to put up a formidable score.
If the batting looks sorted, Punjab need to re-strategise on their bowling department, which looked toothless against Hyderabad. Maxwell will be hoping for a better show from the pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma besides his spin duo of Axar Patel and K.C. Cariappa against Delhi on Sunday.
Kings XI Punjab: Glenn Maxwell (Captain), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Shaun Marsh, Darren Sammy, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Nikhil Naik, Ishant Sharma, Armaan Jaffer, Martin Guptill, Eoin Morgan, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Arman Jaffer, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma, K.C. Cariappa, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, T. Natrajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Mann, Rahul Tewatia.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (Captain), Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant (WK), C.V. Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings.