Mohali: Already assured of a berth in the knockout stage, table-toppers Kings XI Punjab will look to consolidate their position at the top with another win when they take on laggards Delhi Daredevils in an inconsequential IPL tie here on Sunday.
KXIP, the most dominant so far in the seventh edition of the cash-rich event, are placed comfortably on the top of the table with 20 points, having won 10 out of their 13 ties. Delhi, on the other hand are lying at the bottom of the table with just two wins from 13 outings.
The Punjab outfit once again stamped its authority here in their last match when it put up yet another clinical all-round performance to post a 16-run win over Rajasthan Royals. In contrast, Delhi slumped to a 15-run defeat against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai in their last match
Delhi have an uphill task at hands today against a side which is thriving in all departments of the game.
Punjab`s batting has been their mainstay this season. The fact that young domestic players like Manan Vohra have been delivering alongwith stars like Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Virender Sehwag, captain George Bailey, speaks volume about the side, capable of intimidating any opponent.
Be it batting or bowling, all those youngsters who are on the bench, have also shown their mettle as and when they have got an opportunity.
It was young leg-spinner Karanveer Singh`s turn to make an impression and he did his job perfectly, finishing with figures of two for 16 from his four overs.
Young bowlers Akshar Patel, Rishi Dhawan and Sandeep Sharma have been performing consistently.
Punjab will be keen to experiment in the remaining games in the group stage and they may test their bench strength in today`s game.
Delhi`s campaign this season has been in dire straits. Their batting has failed to click in unison and the bowling has been far from impressive.
The Daredevils batting is heavily dependent on captain Kevin Pietersen, South African J P Duminy and Dinesh Karthik, as the likes of Murali Vijay, after a decent beginning, Manoj Tiwary, Ross Taylor and Quinton de Kock are yet to live up to their reputation.
In the bowling department, Mohammed Shami has been disappointing with the ball so far. Even Wayne Parnell, Jaydev Unadkat have been far from impressive. Leg spinner Imran Tahir, however, was impressive against Mumbai Indians with figures of three for 37.
While Punjab are not likely to lower their guard despite being on top, Delhi will be looking to play out of their skins to save themselves from total humiliation.
Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey (c), Virender Sehwag, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Akshar Patel, Thisara Perera, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Manan Vohra, Anureet Singh, Parvinder Awana, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Beuran Hendricks, Mitchell Johnson, Karanveer Singh, Murali Kartik, Mandeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur.
Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (C), Mayank Agarwal, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, S Kaul, Milind Kumar, Mohammed Shami, S Nadeem, Jimmy Neesham, Wayne Parnell, H Sharath, R Sharma, Laxmiratan Shukla, R Shukla, Ross Taylor, Manoj Tiwary, S Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, M Vijay and J Yadav.