It’s the Rajasthan Royals taking on the Kings XI Punjab in the fourth match of the IPL at their home ground, Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
The Royals lead 10-7, head-to-head against the Kings. Last year, RR had a slow start to the season but did make it to the playoffs whereas the opposite happened with the KXIP. They had a blasting start with both their openers going all guns blazing, but finished at the 2nd position.
With Steve Smith coming back into the RR squad after a one year ban, their batting line-up would be strengthened. RR has a good mix of foreign and Indian players. All they have to do is find the perfect combination.
On the other hand, KXIP retained only nine players this year. They have bought some good players in the auction after which their team looks complete. With KL Rahul and Chris Gayle at the peak of their forms, it would be exciting to watch how this opening pair performs this year.
Taking into consideration the status of the two squads, KXIP seems to be a better side in tomorrow’s matchup.
Standing by my opinion, I am listing three main reasons for KXIP to be a better side ahead of the fixture.
#1 Dominating Opening Pair
The opening pair for KXIP is one of the most destructive pair in this years’ IPL.
KL Rahul had a fantastic IPL season last year scoring 659 runs at an avg. of 54.91 and strike rate of 158.41. He continued his form into the Australian series this year where he scored a fifty and 40+ in two of the innings.
With Rahul, we have the mighty Chris Gayle who needs no introduction in this format of Cricket. Chris Gayle hit 39 sixes in a five-match series against England which clearly shows the type of knack he is in lately.
Watch out for this pair today!
#2 Inexperienced RR Bowling lineup
Rajasthan Royals’ bowling department will be lead by Jaydev Unadkat same as the last year. There is no doubt he has proven himself in this format of the game and will be supported by the likes of Jorfer Archer and Varun Aaron, however, what RR lacks is an experienced Indian bowler who can bowl to the likes of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul.
Handling the pressure in the death overs might be too much for this group. With that, RR also lacks an experienced spinner which can add up to the misery.
It will be exciting to see who the bowling lineup pans out for them.
#3 Bowling Variety in KXIP
While everyone is talking about the KXIP’s batsman, they are missing the bowling variety that this team possesses.
They bought Mohammad Shami for whooping 8.20cr. With Shami joining the KXIP, they have a good pace attack lead by Andrew Tye who was last year’s Purple Cap holder, Ankit Rajpoot and all-rounder Sam Curran.
The main strength of bowling lies in the spin attack. The captain R.Ashwin will be leading the pack with the Afghanistan sensation Mujeeb-ul-Rehman and an uncapped mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy.
This Bowling lineup seems very promising, and I expect them to fire tomorrow.
Predicted Playing XI for KXIP :
Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Aggarwal, David Miller, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Varun Chakravarthy, Mohammad Shami, Mujeeb-ul-Rehman, Ankit Rajpoot.