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IPL 2020: RR vs KXIP - Match preview from the RR camp

Smith and Samson (RR)
Smith and Samson (RR)

The big second game is upon us, as the Royals take on Kings XI Punjab at Sharjah. The Royals will be looking to make it two out of two in what promises to be an exciting contest. Both teams will be looking to get that important second win for them and continue their good starts in the tournament. 


Word from the camp


Jos Buttler, "Great to get a win on the board, the team played fantastically well in the first game. It was an outstanding batting performance and a fantastic bowling performance in tough bowling conditions. I am really excited to play my first game, it was great to be back in training with the boys, there’s a great vibe around the team so I'm really looking forward to taking the field. The atmosphere and energy around the squad is fantastic, obviously lots of confidence after that first game. The training has been very energetic, guys are lively and enjoying each other’s company. So yeah good atmosphere around, expecting a really tough match against Kings XI. Obviously a fantastic team, KL Rahul was in exceptional form the other night against RCB, so he will be a key wicket as always and I think we’ll see another potentially high-scoring game at Sharjah with small boundaries and the dew factor coming in. Can’t wait to get back out there."


Early Team news


The big news ahead of the game against Kings XI is the return of Jos Buttler for the Royals. Jos has now finished his mandatory quarantine having arrived with his family separately. This means that coach McDonald will now have some big decisions to make ahead of the second match.


All the other players with the exception of Ben Stokes remain available for the match. Another news from the camp is the arrival of the team brand ambassador and mentor Shane Warne. Shane arrived in Dubai on Wednesday and is currently in quarantine.


  Venue talk


Sharjah remains the venue for our second game in the Dream11 IPL. As it's our second game at the venue, the players would be expected to be better acclimatised to the ground conditions and dimensions having played a competitive game at the iconic stadium. The ground was the first in the tournament that provided no grass and was slow in nature, providing a challenging proposition to the batsman when pitched in the good-length area. All said, the ground is the smallest of the three venues and we can expect more maximums and fewer twos. As Kevin Pietersen mentioned during his commentary, “ Half a bat is enough”, it might well be enough to lear the ropes given the firepower on display."


Opposition chatter


Kings XI Punjab come into the game having comprehensively defeated the Royal Challengers from Bengaluru in Dubai. This will be their first game at Sharjah and a repeat of the 2014 fixture when the Kings prevailed over the Royals in a high scoring encounter.  Kings XI are a strong outfit with players in form and will be a good challenge for the men in pink.


The big talking point


After the big win over CSK, the onus will be on the Royals to get out there and win their second game in a row to continue this good start and keep the momentum going. Kings XI have done really well with both the bat and bowl in the last game and would be riding on a high. With the dew playing a part the narrative could move around winning the toss and chasing, however, given the slowish nature of the pitch, it would not be a surprise if the captains were forced to rethink their strategies.

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