Kings XI Punjab V Rajasthan Royals Match Preview
Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals both suffered losses in their previous games but the champions of the inaugural edition of IPL will walk in as the happier side as Jos Buttler showed some glimpses of his performances last year.
The firepower in the batting line-up has been the issue with Rajasthan due to Buttler’s and Stokes’ poor form which has restricted them from posting a potentially bigger total. They have been poor when it comes to finishing the innings. D’arcy Short also is struggling, particularly in powerplay, which doesn’t give them a flier in the start as well. Rahane and Samson are the only 2 batsmen among the runs while others have shown performances in bits and pieces but RR will now walk in with more hope.
The opening combination of Short & Buttler worked in last match with scoring quickfire 45 and 66. Rahane will be keen to go with the same combo and personally will like to come at three with Samson at four.
Rahul Tripathi will be given atleast one more chance at no. 5 before they plan to drop him. He along with Stokes, Mahipal Lomror, K Gowtham and Jofra Archer will handle the finishing business.
They have a decent bowling line-up with a plethora of options but somehow it isn’t clicking. Their most expensive buys, Unadkat and Stokes haven’t been upto the mark and both will be eager to pounce on this match as 1more loss will probably end their campaign.
Archer has been good with the ball and will walk in as their best bowler. Unadkat was among the wickets in last match and Dhawal Kulkarni will look to extract some swing early in the innings.
Gowtham’s spin gives them a few crucial overs and he even manages to get them some wickets. He and stokes along with Lomror will make-up most of the middle overs.
D’arcy Short, Jos Buttler (wk), Ajinkya Rahane (c), Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, K Gowtham, Mahipal Lomror, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
○Kings XI Punjab:
On the other hand, KXIP didn’t have a desirable return after a 7 day break against Mumbai Indians. Their batting looked helpless after their openers departed. Karun Nair is the only batsman in their middle order to get some runs this season. Inclusion of Yuvraj didn’t click and he will most likely be dropped from today.
KL Rahul and Chris Gayle are both enjoying a good run of form. They have been giving them consistent starts and both even contribute to 50% of team’s total runs (when they both played together). Mayank Aggarwal will be given another chance at one down. History seems to be repeating itself again: Excellent performances in domestic and then a below-par IPL. Karun Nair is also enjoying a good nick of form and will come at no. 4. and Yuvi will make way for Manoj Tiwary. Marcus Stoinis was good with the bat in the other game and will retain his place.
Their bowling looks limited with not a lot of options. Captain Ravichandran Ashwin has been economical but hasn’t looked threatening enough to take wickets at will. Mujeeb’s surprise element also seems to be fading away. Punjab will not want such a situation to arise at this junction as a couple of losses will end them up in the race of qualification. Andrew Tye hasn’t lived upto his standards in this season but his wickets at crucial intervals makes him a dangerous bowler. Ankit Rajput has been good in previous matches barring the last game. There will be a race between Axar, Sran and Mohit to get into the team.
KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Aggarwal, Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, Marcus Stoinis, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb ur Rehman, Ankit Rajpoot.
●Match Details :
•Date: May 6, 2018
•Time: 8 PM (IST)
•Venue: Holkar Stadium, Indore
•Pitch: Expected to be a batting paradise. Power hitters will enjoy playing here due to short boundaries and fast pitch. Slower spinners will be hard to tackle. Otherwise, a 180-190 pitch.
•Broadcast: The Star Sports Network