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Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals: Match Preview, IPL 2019

Confirmed playing XI

Kings XI Punjab:
Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh
Rajasthan Royals:
Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ish Sodhi.

 

My Dream11 for the game

 

Match details

Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 32, IPL 2019

16 April 2019, 8.00 PM IST

Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali

 

Venue

The surface on offer at Mohali hasn’t aided the batters too greatly this season, as the average score batting first is a moderate 165. Chasing seems to be the norm, with teams batting second winning 75% of the time.

Punjab are strong at home, having won three of their last four games in Mohali.

 

Match overview

Two teams from the bottom half of the points table and in desperate need of a victory cross swords at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday.

Kings XI Punjab were handed a shock defeat by cellar-dwellers Royal Challengers Bangalore last time out, despite Chris Gayle’s best efforts. Inconsistency has plagued Punjab all season and their middle-order has failed to build on platforms set by Gayle and Co at the top. They will need to address that if they are to have a shot at making the playoffs.

Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, got back to winning ways against Mumbai, powered by a Jos Buttler masterclass. However, that was just their second victory this season; they will need to win each of their remaining games to secure a berth in the top four.

The last times these two sides met, a Chris Gayle special blew the Royals away. Punjab will be hoping for an encore when the two sides set foot in the PCA Stadium tomorrow.

 

Head to Head (in IPL):

Total: 18

Kings XI Punjab wins: 8

Rajasthan Royals wins: 10

 

Form (most recent first)

Kings XI Punjab: L L W L W (poor form)

Rajasthan Royals: W L L W L (poor form)

 

WK

KL Rahul has been in great touch at the top of the order for KXIP, having notched up three half-centuries and a century in the tournament already. Rahul missed out the last time these two sides met, and he will be eager to make amends.

BAT

After being kept quiet for a couple of matches, Jos Buttler finally broke the shackles against Mumbai. With an unbelievable display of power-hitting at the top, Buttler’s 89 off 43 almost single-handedly took the Royals to victory. Buttler is the Royals’ leading run-scorer by a good margin, and the onus will be on him once again to get them off to a flying start.

Chris Gayle, rather surprisingly, still doesn’t have a century to his name this season, although he did come agonizingly close against RCB. Against a bowling attack that’s among the worst in the competition, the West Indian will fancy his chances of notching up his maiden century this year.

Steve Smith has really struggled on his return to the IPL. Scores of 20, 28, 38, 73, 15 and 12 really aren’t a reflection of his true capabilities. But having recently been named in Australia’s World Cup squad, the former skipper will look to get back into the groove ahead of the marquee tournament.

Sarfaraz Khan has shown flashes of brilliance – evidenced by scores of 46, 39 and 67 – but they’ve been few and far between. Having been handed the chance to bat higher up the order and build an innings, he will be eager to take more responsibility.

ALL-ROUNDERS

Ben Stokes missed the last game due to injury and was replaced by Liam Livingstone. However, with the Lancashire batsman failing to make a mark, Stokes could find himself back in the mix. Stokes has been fairly average with both bat and ball this season, and he would be looking to get back into some form with the World Cup on the horizon.

Sam Curran has had a few disappointing outings recently, but considering KXIP’s lack of options on the bench, he is expected to retain his place in the side. Curran started the season in fine fashion, scalping 6 wickets in his first 2 games. However, he’s managed just 1 in 4 subsequent games. KXIP will turn to him to keep the likes of Buttler and Samson at the top of the order in check.

BOWLERS

After an underwhelming start to the season, Jofra Archer finally got going in the Royals’ victory against Mumbai. Archer got the important wickets of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock and managed to restrict Mumbai to a score of 187/5 when it initially looked like they would cruise past 220. Archer remains one of the best death bowlers in the world, but he might be called upon to bowl a few overs up front, especially if Gayle is in the mood.

Jaydev Unadkat has had a mediocre season, but he has picked up a wicket in each of his last three games. He will have his work cut out against the likes of Gayle and Rahul, but at just 8cr, including him in the side allows you to stack the other departments with talent.

Murugan Ashwin has not picked up too many wickets this season, but he has been quite economical. Rajasthan don’t have a lot of great players of spin in their ranks, and this might be the match in which Ashwin truly steps up.

Andrew Tye, with 24 wickets last season, was the proud owner of the Purple Cap. However, he has failed to live up to expectations this time around; the Australian has been rather expensive in all four matches he has played. But he remains one of the leading death bowlers going around, and his repertoire of slower balls and other variations will be key for Punjab.

Captain: Jos Buttler

Vice-captain: Chris Gayle

Player to watch out for: Jos Buttler

Buttler took Punjab’s bowlers to the cleaners the last time these two sides squared off. Relinquishing the keeper’s gloves to Samson also seems to have freed him up – as evidenced by his knock against Mumbai. If Buttler can stay at the crease until the 10th over, Rajasthan will fancy their chances of pulling off another victory.

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