Punjab Kings Vs Delhi Capitals, IPL 2024: Three Key Player Battles To Watch Out For

India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will return to professional cricket with Saturday's game between Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals. Let's take a look at three key player battles from match 2 of Indian Premier League 2024 that could be worth your while

Rishabh Pant (right) and David Warner could be pivotal to Delhi Capitals' fortunes in Indian Premier League 2024. Photo: File

The second match of Indian Premier League 2024 pits Delhi Capitals against Punjab Kings at the new open-air venue, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, in Mullanpur on Saturday, March 23. (Match Blog | Full IPL 2024 Coverage | More Cricket News)

The match holds special significance for the fact that it marks the return of Rishabh Pant to professional cricket. The aggressive India wicketkeeper-batter suffered a life-threatening accident in December 2022 and will be back in action after more than 14 months.

Having been declared fit to bat as well as keep wickets by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Pant will return as the Delhi Capitals captain and will be eager to get the team's campaign off to a strong start in IPL 2024.

Hosts Punjab Kings, though, will have other ideas. The Shikhar Dhawan-led side have made some big-budget buys in the mini auction in December, like South African batter Rilee Rossouw for INR 8 crore and India seamer Harshal Patel for INR 11.75 crore. The team means business and will be looking to draw first blood in the campaign-opening clash.

Let's take a look at three key player battles from the DC vs PBKS match on Saturday that could be worth your while.

Rishabh Pant Vs Harpreet Brar

The marauding Rishabh Pant will be raring to go in his comeback match. Though the southpaw will be taking the field for the first time in a high-octane encounter since his horrific accident, he would not be averse to hitting big shots and dancing down the track to spinners.

And therein lies an interesting challenge for left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar. The 28-year-old has an economy rate of 7.10 in T20s and played a starring role the last time the two teams locked horns - picking up four wickets in the IPL 2023 match to help PBKS win. He will look to either tie Pant down or scalp his wicket, to bolster the home team's cause.

David Warner Vs Arshdeep Singh

Diminutive Australian opener David Warner may have retired from Test cricket, but he continues to blaze away in the T20 format. The left-hander was in superb run-scoring form against West Indies in the T20I series last month, and will be eyeing a swashbuckling beginning to IPL 2024.

Up against him with the new ball will be India left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh. The 25-year-old has the ability to move the ball appreciably and also bowls good yorkers, and both skills will be tested against the might and experience of Warner.

Liam Livingstone Vs Axar Patel

Among the explosive batters that PBKS possess, Liam Livingstone is arguably the most dangerous. The hard-hitting right-hander can hit sixes at will when he gets going, and will be looking to do exactly that to set the tournament alight.

At the other end, the wily Axar Patel will surely be plotting Livingstone and other big DC hitters' dismissal. The India left-arm spinner bowls a straight line and has the knack of picking up wickets when his team needs the most. Livingstone's scalp will no doubt count as a valuable one for the 30-year-old.


Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Matthew Short, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Sikandar Raza, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Bhatia, Vidwath Kaverappa, Shivam Singh, Harshal Patel, Chris Woakes, Ashutosh Sharma, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Shashank Singh, Tanay Thyagarajan, Prince Choudhary, Rilee Rossouw.

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (c), Tristan Stubbs, Abishek Porel, Kumar Kushagra, Ricky Bhui, Shai Hope, Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Swastik Chikara, David Warner, Pravin Dubey, Axar Patel, Mitchell Marsh, Lalit Yadav, Vicky Ostwal, Sumit Kumar, Anrich Nortje, Mukesh Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Jhye Richardson, Rasikh Salem