Mohali: Kings XI Punjab got off to a rollicking start to the Vivo IPL 2018 as Ashwin's side thumped the Delhi Daredevils by six wickets. They were going pretty well against the RCB as well before a rampaging Umesh Yadav scalped three wickets in an over to derail the momentum of their innings, from which they could never recover.
On Sunday (April 15) night, the Kings return to Mohali where they host the Chennai Super Kings, and it is expected to be a high voltage clash.
CSK have come back to the IPL after a two-year hiatus, but it now seems like they never left. They have two victories in two games and have started right where they left off in 2015. They pulled off a terrific win against KKR, where they chased a hefty total of 202 at home. Billings slammed the balls to all parts of the ground in his innings and turned the tie in favor of the Super Kings.
Best economical pick: Much like the other mystery spinners, Mujeeb Zadran has taken this season by storm. He is extremely difficult to pick off his hands as well and has a lot of variations up his sleeves. KXIP needed key wicket of their skipper Kohli early to make the chase of 158 interesting and the young man got him with an absolute ripper.
Top captains & vice captains: One of the few batsmen to hit a century in all three formats of the game, KL Rahul, when in form, is a delight to watch. Rahul lit up the tournament with the fastest IPL fifty (50 off 13 balls) and helped set up a comfortable 6 wicket win for KXIP. Rahul was at it again against the RCB as he stroked a sublime 47 off just 30 balls, and KXIP would be hoping the opener continues his rich vein of form. Shane Watson provided a good start to CSK in the last game against KKR. He scored a quick 42 off just 19 balls with three fours and as many number of sixes to give a firm base to the run chase. Earlier, he had bagged 2/39 with the ball.
Smart pick: If a batsman can crouch low and still manage to hit a low full toss for a maximum, then he indeed has some serious talent. Sam Billings did exactly that on multiple occasions in the last match against KKR. With Dhoni struggling to get his act going, CSK needed someone to up the ante. Billings scored a blitzkrieg 56 off just 23 deliveries with two fours and 5 sixes to bring CSK closer to the victory.
Cautious Pick: Yuvraj Singh. A stalwart of the limited-overs format, Yuvraj returns to his home franchise in some indifferent form. Yuvraj looked out of touch in the first game, as he scratched his way to a 22-ball 12 and then got out for 4 in the previous game, leaving serious question marks on his place in the side.
My XI: KL Rahul (Captain), Shane Watson (Vice-Captain), Mujeeb Zadran, Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, R Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni, Aaron Finch.