Kings XI v Delhi Capitals: Back Dhawan and Rahul to dominate again

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan has top-scored for Delhi in each of his last three games.

It's impossible to ignore the way Indian star batsmen KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan are batting right now so keep them both onside, says Jamie Pacheco.

"Dhawan is the only Delhi player in any form that even resembles that of Rahul. Those scores of 69 not out, 57 and 101 are the evidence of a man seeing it big, playing his shots confidently and just believing he can get a big score every time he goes out to bat."

Kings XI v Delhi Capitals
Tuesday October 20, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Two in two but Maxwell's gotta go

Whatever happens for the remainder of the tournament, the Kings XI can look back at Sunday's game with fond memories. They didn't bowl particularly well but KL Rahul (more on him in a bit) single-handedly kept the chase alive while cameos from Deepak Hooda and Chris Jordan saw them tie the game.

Dejected from not winning it within 40 overs, they made a right mess of batting in the First Super Over, scoring only five and were bailed out by Mohammad Shami. Bowling the best Super Over I've ever seen, he somehow defended six runs (they got five) and enforced a second Super Over. There was to be no mistake this time, chasing 11 and winning their second match in a row.

If they're to even think about making the Play-Offs, now is the time for action. The decision to play Chris Gayle has so far worked, the persistence in Glenn Maxwell hasn't. You simply cannot be giving an overseas place to someone who is averaging under 12 with the bat this IPL from eight innings. He did admittedly bowl well last time out but that's not enough.

Glenn Maxwell.jpg

It might be time to bring back Jimmy Neesham or to give Mujeeb Ur Rahman a game now that the wickets are starting to tire and turn more. Maxwell is no more than a passenger at present.

Delhi Capitals

Just when they had a problem to solve with Rishabh Pant's injury, so Shikhar Dhawan started to find some outstanding form. The veteran has hit 69 not out, 57 and 101 not out in his last three knocks, the last one the most crucial of all in getting his side home against the Chennai Super Kings.

The under-rated man of the side though is Axar Patel. There's nothing remarkable about seven wickets in eight games but there's plenty remarkable about an economy rate of 5.59 after bowling 27 overs. Last time out he even made a big contribution with the bat, his 21 off 5 essential at the end of that chase against Chennai.

It all means Delhi are top, flying high, full of confidence. This could be their year.

Shouldn't Delhi be shorter?

I'm actually a little bit surprised that Delhi aren't shorter than 1.824/5. True that the Kings XI won two in a row and showed great guts, determination and discipline to beat Mumbai, defending champions and table-toppers up to that point.

But two swallows don't make a summer and I'm not sure that they've necessarily turned a corner. Twice they've made a huge meal of winning a game when they had it all but sewn up in the latter stages; once they got there off the last ball and once they needed a (second) Super Over when it should never have come to that. For that reason, they can't be trusted.

The brilliant Mohammad Shami aside, they can't really be trusted with the ball, either.

So you'll see far worse 1.824/5 shots than Delhi this week but instead, I'll just leave this market alone altogether.

Rahul on another planet

KL Rahul is batting pretty much just as well as I've seen anyone bat in the IPL. Ever. I've seen the likes of Gayle smash fifties off 20-odd balls and Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers play some gems over at RCB over the years but I can't remember seeing a batsman play near-flawless innings time and time again like this.


No wonder he has 525 runs, including five fifties and a century from just nine knocks. I don't think he'll have too much trouble beating his Kings XI team-mates here like he's been doing all season, while Dhawan's rich vein of form aside, Delhi tend to have lots of players scoring quick 30s and 40s rather than one player always going big.

Quotes of 7/2 may seem a tad short for Rahul to be the game's top batsman but the way he's been batting of late, it's still decent enough.

Dhawan can make it four in a row

Dhawan is the only Delhi player in any form that even resembles that of Rahul. Those scores of 69 not out, 57 and 101 are the evidence of a man seeing it big, playing his shots confidently and just believing he can get a big score every time he goes out to bat.

It would take some doing to be Delhi top bat a fourth time in a row but it's been done before and the fact his price is boosted from 11/5 to 13/5 is even more reason to go with him.


Staked: 21pts
Returned: 23.74 pts
P&L:+2.74 pts

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