Rajasthan Royals and KXIP will battle it out at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on 25th March 2019.
The pitch at Jaipur seems to be a batting surface. With a little green on the surface, able pacers can make use of the surface in their favour. So expect a few early blows in the match but overall, the game will a batting fest.
With the pitch condition in mind, let is deep-dive and analyse the status of both the teams ahead of tonight’s fixture.
The Royals face a tough first test agaisnt a robust looking side of the Punjabi Kings. All eyes will be on Steve Smith, who makes a return after serving a 1-year ban. However, he might miss the opener due to the shoulder injury. Another overseas player who will the talk of the house is Ben Stokes who has excellent skills with both bat and ball.
Ajinkya Rahane will open the batting for RR alongside Jos Buttler. They will be followed by a talented batting lineup which comprises of players like Sanju Samson, Ashton Turner, Steve Smith and Liam Livingstone. It is evident that their Batting lineup will be their USP for this season.
Just like the previous edition, Bowling line-up for RR will be led by Jaydev Unadkat who had a brilliant domestic season. He will be supported by Varun Aaron, Jofra Archer, and Dhawal Kulkarni. They have a total of seven bowling options to choose from which is a good sign for the team.
RR Probable XI:
Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Steve Smith/Ashton Turner, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron
Kings XI Punjab
KXIP has retained just nine players from the previous edition spending a hefty amount on budding talent this year. Varun Chakravarthy, Nicholas Pooran, Prab Simran Singh and Sam Curran were among the expensive purchases the Kings made.
Chris Gayle and KL Rahul will open the batting for KXIP while Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran and Mandeep Singh constitute the core. Batting should not be a problem with KXIP as line-up extends up to R Ashwin who can also produce handy knocks.
Talking about the Bowling, Mohammed Shami leads the line-up, backed by Andre Tye, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the mystery spinner, Varun Chakaravarthy. With Balance between Bat and Bowl, KXIP would surely lift-up their ranking from the previous year.
KXIP Probable XI:
Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mayank Aggarwal, Mandeep Singh, Ravi Ashwin, Sam Curran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Andrew Tye, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakravarthy
Dream XI Predictions:
- Wicket-Keeper: KL Rahul
- Batsmen: Steve Smith/Ashton Turner(VC), Chris Gayle, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane
- All Rounders: Ben Stokes, Krishnappa Gowtham
- Bowlers: Andrew Tye, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Varun Chakravarthy(C)
Despite being at the home ground, RR batting line seems unreliable to me as compared to KXIP. Moreover, KXIP seems a more balanced team than the Royals.
I am giving this one to the Kings as they have an edge in this game.
Kings XI Punjab to beat Rajasthan Royals