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IPL 2018: Match 40, RR vs KXIP – Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI

One change to be made?

Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Kings XI Punjab’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman celebrates fall of Jofra Archer’s wicket. (Photo by IANS)

After two consecutive losses, the Kings XI Punjab made a comeback against the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. The Kings put the Royals into bat first. After having got a decent start, the Royals lost their way. Mujeeb Ur Rahman was magical and helped collapse the RR batting order by picking 3 wickets. Interestingly, two of those three crucial wickets came in the same over.

KL Rahul ensured that he remained unbeaten through the course of the chase and ensured that his team gets a victory. With this win, KXIP moves ahead in the playoffs race and are much closer to making it there. After this sweet win, the Punjab team will be facing the Royals in a reverse-fixture within a gap of two days.

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With such a little gap, there isn’t much scope for practice and strategising. RR would be hoping to correct its mistakes from the previous game. KXIP, on the other hand, will want to carry this winning momentum forward.

Here is the predicted XI of KXIP:

Openers (KL Rahul, Chris Gayle)

KL Rahul had a terrific game in the last one. The way he accelerated towards the end was truly phenomenal. Rahul scored 84* off 54 in the game against RR. He held the KXIP innings together to hand them over a fruitful victory. KXIP might have struggled had he not been there towards the end.

Chris Gayle had a rare failure in the last one. This was also his first failure this season and was undone by the pace from Jofra Archer. He will fancy coming back strong in the reverse fixture. The openers are the backbones of the KXIP lineup and it is important for at least one of these two to do well.

Middle Order (Karun Nair, Manzoor Dar, Manoj Tiwary)

Karun Nair got off to a good start in the last game but failed to stay out there in the middle. Karun has had some good games this season and is expected to take the No.3 position in the absence of Mayank Agarwal and Yuvraj Singh. He needs to be a tad more cautious with his shot selection as he is always getting out at the wrong time.

A string of failures for Mayank Agarwal would possibly open the doors for Manzoor Dar. He should have got a go in the last one but he would still fancy a chance in the next. It is important for KXIP to test the bench strength going into the later stages of the tournament. Manoj didn’t have much to do in the last game. He didn’t get a chance with the bat and will probably get another go.

All-Rounders (Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin)

Marcus Stoinis played an important knock in the last game. He remained not out on 23 off 16 balls and played the perfect second fiddle to KL Rahul. He did well with the bat in the last two games and there is no scope for leaving him out. Axar Patel is just getting back into the groove after the injury. Axar completed his quota of 4 overs in the last game and also picked a wicket conceding just 21 runs.

Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin has had a terrific time with KXIP thus far. Ashwin opened the bowling in the last game and struck gold right in the first over. He picked the wicket of D’Arcy Short who could have proven to be dangerous right in the third ball of the innings. He is an obvious choice in the XI.

Bowlers (Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman)

Andrew Tye came back well in the last game after conceding a few runs in the game earlier. He picked 2 wickets in his quota of 4 overs and gave away just 24 runs. He is a crucial part of their bowling plans and is expected to play an important role in the next game. Ankit Rajpoot had two bad games after picking that 5-wicket haul against SRH. He might get another chance courtesy that performance against SRH.

Mujeeb, yet again, weaved his spell of magic in the last game. If it was not to be Mujeeb, RR would have definitely crossed the 180 or 190 run mark as Jos Buttler was looking dangerous in the middle. RR will have to tackle him efficiently in the middle if they are to win the next game.

Here’s KXIP Predicted XI for the game against RR

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