Irrespective of the result of this inconsequential game, Punjab will finish top and Delhi rock bottom. (BCCI)
After being assured of a playoff berth, Kings XI Punjab will consider the inconsequential league game against the ousted Delhi Daredevils on Sunday as practice, but without losing their winning momentum.
Table-toppers Punjab, who are assured of finishing No. 1 when the league stage ends on Sunday, would like to top their campaign with another victory after already bagging 20 points from 10 wins in 13 games they have played. Delhi, on the other hand are lying at the bottom with just two wins from 13 games.
On Friday, Punjab demonstrated yet another clinical performance by registering a 16-run win against Rajasthan Royals. However, the same day earlier, Delhi slumped to a 15-run defeat against Mumbai Indians.
Despite Glenn Maxwell not playing in the last match, Punjab were able to post a formidable total of 179 on the board.
Undoubtedly, it has been the batting that has taken the team forward and the success can be attributed to youngsters like Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha - who have tagged along well with the teams brightest stars Maxwell, David Miller and Virender Sehwag.
Moreover, the youngsters on the bench have also performed well when provided with an opportunity, like on Friday, when legspinner Karanveer Singh impressed with figures of 2 for 16. Young bowlers like Akshar Patel, Rishi Dhawan and Sandeep Sharma have also been consistent, especially Sharma who has been consistently among the wickets.
With their playoff match coming up on May 27 at Kolkata against the hosts Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab would be keen on experimenting with their combination and try out a few untested players.
On the other hand, Delhi's campaign in this edition has been in shambles and they have failed in every department. The batsmen haven't clicked on a regular basis and the bowlers also have been far from consistent.
Delhi are heavily dependent on Kevin Pietersen, JP Duminy and Dinesh Karthik, with Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary and Quinton de Kock yet to put up any noteworthy batting display.
On the bowling front also they have looked mediocre with their strike bowlers Mohammad Shami, Wayne Parnell and Jaydev Unadkat being highly inconsistent. But with the inclusion of Imran Tahir. the spin department has been bolstered in the last few games.
Nevertheless, Delhi would like to end their most disappointing outing in the IPL with a win.
(with PTI inputs)