And, the jampacked crowd at Mohali's PCA Stadium was provided with both by KL Rahul as the Punjab side brushed aside Delhi Daredevils by 6 wickets in the second match of this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday. Spinner Ravi Ashwin will captain KXIP while Gautam Gambhir returns as Delhi Daredevils' skipper.
Presence of multiple superstars makes KXIP team a risky unit, says Brad Hodge: Kings XI Punjab head coach Brad Hodge feels that presence of multiple superstars makes their team a "dangerous unit" going into the 11th edition of Indian Premier League. Axar Patel went for 35 runs in 3 overs. Though Gambhir kept scoring at one end on the other end they kept on losing wickets.
After having restricted Delhi well below a par total, KL Rahul came out in a devastating mood and flayed Delhi's bowling in the first five overs.
This was Gambhir's 36th IPL fifty equalling Warner's record for most 50s in the league.
Rahul was in a complete destructive mood as he smashed six boundaries and four sixes in his knock that unsettled the DD bowlers initially. I just went there, I wanted to play a couple of balls in.
DD Lineup: Gautam Gambhir (c), Colin Munro, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Vijay Shankar, Daniel Christian, Amit Mishra, Rahul Tewatia, Trent Boult, Mohammad Shami. Apart from Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, David Miller and Marcus Stoinis, Kings XI have gone in with a new bunch of players in an attempt to turn their fortunes around.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who was previously with Chennai Super Kings, will lead the new-look Kings XI Punjab.
There were two other batting performances of note in the match. For starters, neither has won the title in the ten editions so far. "We've got a lot of superstars, a lot of match-winners, which makes our team extremely unsafe, which should be good for future", said Hodge, prior to their opening encounter against Delhi Daredevils.
The right-hander reached his fifty off just 14 deliveries, hitting four sixes and six fours. He knows the art of how to get most out of any player, so I'm optimistic that he'll do wonders with this squad of DD also. "So that was the plan for me to strike hard early", Rahul said.