Altaf Qadri/Associated Press

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2017

The Delhi Daredevils take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in what promises to be a thrilling contest in the first of Monday’s Indian Premier League double-header before the Sunrisers Hyderabad face the Kings XI Punjab.

On Tuesday, the Gujarat Lions meet Royal Challengers Bangalore in a bottom-of-the-table clash, with both teams searching for just their second win of the campaign, while Hyderabad and Delhi will be in action once again when they face each other on Wednesday.

The Mumbai Indians’ next outing comes on Thursday, when they travel to Indore to take on Kings XI Punjab.

Here are the details for the upcoming schedule and predictions:

Upcoming IPL Schedule
Monday, April 17 11:30 a.m./4 p.m. Delhi Daredevils vs. Kolkata Knight Riders DD
Monday, April 17 3:30 p.m./8 p.m. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Kings XI Punjab KXIP
Tuesday, April 18 3:30 p.m./8 p.m. Gujarat Lions vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore GL
Wednesday, April 19 3:30 p.m./8 p.m. Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Delhi Daredevils SRH
Thursday, April 20 3:30 p.m./8 p.m. King XI Punjab vs. Mumbai Indians MI


Delhi Daredevils vs. Kolkata Knight Riders

The Daredevils and the Knight Riders have been two of the form teams behind the Mumbai Indians in the IPL this season, and as such, the match could well be an exciting and hard-fought contest.

Delhi narrowly lost their opening match with Bangalore by 15 runs but then won their two subsequent matches comfortably, per cricket analyst Freddie Wilde:

As a result they have a net run rate of 2.217, the highest in the competition. Wilde believes they can be a force this year:

As for Kolkata, they have also impressed, with a defeat to IPL leaders Mumbai in their second match the only blip they’ve suffered so far in four outings.

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle hailed their efforts as they beat Punjab on Thursday:

Gautam Gambhir is the second-highest run scorer this season, with 182, while he and team-mates Chris Lynn and Manish Pandey have the three highest batting averages in the tournament, per its official website.

The Knight Riders seem to be more explosive than their opponents, but the Daredevils perhaps have more depth—either team is capable of winning this contest, but that could give the latter the edge, particularly if they can eliminate those at the top the order early.


Sunrisers Hyderabad vs. Kings XI Punjab

Sunrisers and Kings XI both enjoyed promising starts to their campaigns, as they each won their first two matches, but both have lost their following two contests to leave them mid-table in the standings.

Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

The star of the show for Hyderabad so far has been Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who dons the purple cap, having taken 10 wickets thus far.

Per the tournament website, he also has the third-best average, 8.90, and the third-best economy, 5.56.

Broken Cricket provided an insight into his strong performances:

He’ll be a threat to Punjab with ball in hand and could make the difference if he can bowl out Kings XI’s top order before they can build any momentum.

With the likes of Hashim Amla, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Eoin Morgan, Kings XI should be able to threaten any side at the crease, but they’ve not quite been firing on all cylinders so far.

Maxwell pledged an improvement after defeat to Delhi on Saturday:

If they can do so, they stand an excellent chance of getting their campaign back on track with a win in Hyderabad, though Kumar will also have plenty of say in how they fare.

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