Punjab Kings vs Delhi Capitals: Preview and Prediction

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Both teams have finished outside the playoff places in the last two seasons

In the first match of the first ‘Double Header Saturday’ of the 2024 Indian Premier League season, Punjab Kings will host Delhi Capitals at the Maharaja Yadavindra International Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur, Chandigarh from 3:30 pm onwards.

A match that will serve as the season opener for both sides has an even more special vibe to it as the new world-class stadium built in 2021 in Mullanpur will host its first IPL match. The stadium has so far hosted 23 matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with the team batting second grinding out victories on 8 occasions only. 

The highest target chased at the venue in 2022 and 2023 was 149 by Baroda against Mumbai in the 19th over signifying that teams batting second will have a tough time at the venue. An afternoon match in northern India guarantees hot weather and temperatures soaring up to 35 to 38 Degrees Celsius further titling favor towards the side batting first.

While the stadium would increase the seating from 6,000 to 10,000 eventually for the Kings who could only sell 27,000 tickets at the IS Bindra Stadium will now have a seating capacity of 33,000 at the Mullanpur stadium which also offers world-class facilities in drainage, soil, and infrastructure like dressing rooms and gyms.

What has happened so far?

In IPL 2023, the Punjab-based franchise had a tough time finishing eighth with 12 points from 14 matches, just above Delhi Capitals who finished ninth with 10 points from 14 fixtures.

Punjab Kings come into IPL 2024 with a replenished squad that still has some holes gaping in the lower middle-order as the franchise formerly based out of Mohali spent big on three players, Rilee Rossouw, Harshal Patel, and Chris Woakes with one of the latter two expected to be entrusted in playing at the No.7 position.

After appointing Sanjay Bangar as the Head of Cricket Development, the Preity Zinta co-owned team splashed big money on Patel who could come in handy at the new sluggish surface of the Mullanpur stadium while Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Delhi would also be ideal grounds for the former Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler.

On the other hand, the return of Delhi’s prodigal son, Rishabh Pant would be celebrated in every nook and corner of the national capital after the wicket-keeper batter’s miraculous recovery from a horrific accident.

The Capitals spent big on wicket-keepers at the mini-auction in Dubai signing Tristian Stubbs, Shai Hope, Kumar Kushagra, and Ricky Bhui apart from recruiting Jhye Richardson, Harry Brook, Sumit Kumar, Swastik Chhikara, and Rasikh Dar.

Brook backed out of the tournament owing to personal reasons while Lungi Ngidi has also been ruled out of the tournament owing to an ankle injury and will be replaced by Jake Fraser-McGurk after the Australian impressed highly in the Big Bash League.

Head to Head Record

Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings have the most unique head-to-head record with both teams winning 16 matches each in the 32 encounters between the two sides.

In the last seven fixtures, the Kings have won only once, even losing a contest on a super over with DC winning six fixtures except the battle at the Arun Jaitley Stadium last season where Shikhar Dhawan’s side won by 31 runs courtesy of a Prabhsimran Singh century.

Key Players

Jonny Bairstow could be the missing cog in the Punjab Kings’ batting order

Jonny Bairstow (Punjab Kings): According to several reports, Jonny Bairstow will be batting at No.3 in the upcoming IPL season with Dhawan and Prabhsimran opening the batting.

Unlike most English players, Bairstow has got the NOC from the England and Wales Cricket Board to play the entirety of the 2024 IPL season including the playoffs if the Kings manage to reach the knockout stage after failing to do so for almost a decade.

Bairstow was the power-hitter missed by Punjab in IPL 2023 and the Trevor Bayliss-coached side would be aiming to maximize Bairstow’s ability despite being Rossouw for INR 8 Crores in the auction.

David Warner (Delhi Capitals): The former Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals skipper David Warner has handed the reigns of the side to the returning Pant but the opening batter would be eager to leave his mark on IPL 2024 to get retained ahead of the IPL 2025 Mega Auction.

Warner was the highest run-scorer for the Capitals in IPL 2023 as he scored 516 runs at an average of 36.85 and a strike rate of 131.63, finishing eighth in the Orange Cap race. The Australian also had a good time at the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup scoring 535 runs in 11 matches at an average of 48.63 and a strike rate of 108.29 finishing as the highest run-scorer for the eventual champions.

After calling an end to his Test career, Warner might be looking at hanging his boots from international cricket after the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup and the southpaw would be putting all eggs in a single basket unlike Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, or Pant.

Team News from Both Camps

On a slow surface, the Kings could be looking to use both Sikandar Raza and Liam Livingstone alongside Rahul Chahar while the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel would send tremors down the right-heavy batting order of Punjab on a slow pitch.

Most of the PBKS players have passed their respective fitness tests and all of their overseas players have arrived timely in Punjab boosting the morale in the hosts’ camp.

Anrich Nortje’s fitness issues have impacted South Africa and DC in the last 18 months

Apart from Brook and Ngidi who are already out of the tournament, there are clouds over Anrich Nortje’s fitness and he is also expecting the birth of his child which would mean a delayed arrival for the Proteas fast bowler in India for the cash-rich league. 

Predicted XIs

Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan ©, Prabhsimran Singh, Jonny Bairstow, Sikandar Raza, Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Harshal Patel, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh

Delhi Capitals: David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Rishabh Pant ©, Tristan Stubbs, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Axar Patel, Kumar Kushagra (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Ishant Sharma


The Capitals have packed all areas of the squad with talent and the duo of Ricky Ponting and Saurav Ganguly would be hoping that DC start the season with a bang while Dhawan’s men would be hoping to inaugurate the newly built world-class stadium with a win.