Kings look to get back to winning ways against bottom placed Royals: Match preview
The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will look to get back to winning ways when they take on a beleaguered Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Sunday. A win takes them closer to the playoffs spot while it would make the same an almost impossible task for the Royals.
May 06, 2018
20:00 hours IST
Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
A miserable season for the Royals has meant that they are placed at the bottom of the table and even though they were close to a win on a couple of occasions, the failure of big names during crucial stages of the game have made their qualification chances very bleak.
While many admired Ajinkya Rahane’s leadership in the one-off test he led India, he has failed to lift his team’s standards during pressure situations. What has ailed them is the lack of consistency from their batsmen. They have had to rely on moments of brilliance from a couple of players to get them across the line. The fact that they have only three wins, one of which was a rain-curtailed fixture, shows the fact that they have not cracked the winning formula yet. With at least five wins needed from six games, the future looks bleak for the Royals.
Jos Buttler and D’Arcy Short did make meaningful contributions in the last game, but they will need plenty more of them to enhance their chances of a playoffs spot. Going into this fixture, the easy way out for the Royals would be to get the two Kings XI openers out. The rest of the Punjab line up has continued to look fragile and were exposed in their previous game against Mumbai Indians.
It was baffling to see Manoj Tiwary getting dropped after just one game as Yuvraj Singh continued to struggle on his return to the team. With 64 runs from five innings, the southpaw is clearly not having the best of seasons with the bat. KXIP did make a few questionable decisions in their last game, one of which was sending Axar Patel into bat ahead of Mayank Agarwal and Marcus Stoinis. Such decisions have cost the Royals heavily in their campaign and one would hope that the Kings don’t repeat the same mistake.
On paper and on current form, this should be an easy win for Punjab. If the Royals get Gayle and Rahul out, the story could be very different!
Manoj Tiwary should come back in for Yuvraj Singh.
Kings XI Punjab – KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Manoj Tiwary, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Ankit Rajpoot
Anureet Singh could get a game in place of Jaydev Unadkat.
Rajasthan Royals – Ajinkya Rahane(c), D’Arcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Krishnappa Gowtham, Dhawal Kulkarni, Anureet Singh/Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal
- In the five games they have batted together, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have put on partnerships of 96, 53, 116, 55 and 54
- Jos Buttler’s fifty off 18 balls, in their previous match, was the fastest by a RR batsman in the IPL. The previous fastest was off 19 balls by Owais Shah back in 2012
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