Kings XI Punjab will face Rajasthan Royals in the match 32 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Chandigarh on Tuesday. The home side will come in the match relatively confident as they are in a decent position to qualify for the playoffs after managing to win four out of eight matches. In the previous meeting between both teams earlier in the competition, it was a highly controversial affair where Punjab eventually came out on top.
In the batting department, Kings XI will be relying on the likes of the in-form Lokesh Rahul, West Indies veteran opener Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal to score bulk of the runs, whereas on the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of pacers Sam Curran, Mohammad Shami and captain Ravichandran Ashwin to produce timely breakthroughs.
On the other hand, Rajasthan will enter in the match desperate for a positive result as they just have four points after seven matches. However, there will be some sort of confidence in the team’s ranks as Ajinkya Rahane-led unit registered an impressive four-wicket win against Mumbai Indians in their previous match. In the batting department, Rajasthan will be relying on the likes of in-form England’s Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, captain Rahane and former Australia captain Steven Smith to score bulk of the runs, whereas on the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of pacers Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni to provide timely breakthroughs.
Pitch Conditions: Pitch at the venue is usually a good one for batting where there is a lot of pace and bounce for the pacers to extract.
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Lokesh Rahul (Batsman)
First in the list of key players features Kings XI Punjab’s Lokesh Rahul. The right-hander is in great form with the bat off late where he is the leading run-scorer for the franchise with 335 runs in eight matches at an outstanding average of 67. That performance was enough for Rahul to cement his place in the India’s World Cup squad. With that in view, the 26-year-old will be eager to prove his selection right with another stellar performance on Tuesday.
Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper)
Second in the list of key players features Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler. The England international is having a great tournament with the bat in hand where he is the leading run-scorer for the franchise with 288 runs in seven outings at an average of 41.14 and at a strike-rate of 153.19. In the team’s previous match, Buttler played a match-winning knock of 89 and guided his team home. Therefore, the team management will be hoping for another match-winning performance from the 28-year-old in the match against Kings XI Punjab.
Ravichandran Ashwin (All-rounder)
Third in the list of key players features Kings XI Punjab’s Ravichandran Ashwin. The 32-year-old is having a decent time in the tournament with the ball in hand where he has claimed nine wickets in eight matches at a strike-rate of 21.30 and economy-rate of 7.62. Therefore, Kings XI’s team management will be hoping Ashwin will lead from the front once again in the match against Rajasthan.
Jofra Archer (Bowler)
Last in the list of key players features Rajasthan Royals’ Jofra Archer. The 24-year-old is having a decent tournament with the ball in hand as he has claimed seven wickets in seven matches for the franchise. With Jos Buttler expected to miss Tuesday’s match, there will be added pressure on Archer to deliver an impressive performance for Rajasthan.
Uncapped player for the match:Murugan Ashwin
Predicted Playing XI:
Kings XI Punjab: Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Hardus Viljoen, Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Steve Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Ashton Turner, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
by Azeem Siddiqui