IPL 2018: Match 40, RR vs KXIP, Preview – Punjab’s opportunity to pile on the agony for Royals
Rajasthan would be happy after coming back to their fortress and would be eager to start winning games now.
Updated - May 7, 2018 7:45 pm
KL Rahul stood tall for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) as they had botched up yet another chase. The two teams will once again lock horns for the second time in less than 48 hours and this time the game will be played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. More than Punjab, the hosts are in desperate need of getting back their winning momentum as one more loss will potentially end all their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
Ajinkya Rahane needs to somehow infuse confidence in his teammates by leading from the front as even he hasn’t played impactful innings for a long time. The big names in the overseas setup have not fired at all and the domestic cricketer have blown hot and cold too often. The presence of the legend Shane Warne in the camp has not worked wonders this time around for the Royals and this is their last chance. Though the only positive from the last game was their bowling and fielding which fought until the end before Rahul’s blitz blew them away.
On the other hand, Punjab would feel that they got out of a jail after messing up another chase completely. If Rahul had been given out in the 15th over, things might have been different with the way their middle order has been faring this season. Though they have now got a chance to kick their opponents out of the tournament and also strengthen their position in the top 4 in the points table.
Royals will drop D’Arcy Short who has been highly underperforming in his maiden stint in the IPL. Rahane should slot back in his preferred position again while Ish Sodhi should come into the team who was dropped for no reason. Even Ankit Sharma could be in contention as he is the left-arm spinner and could replace Shreyas Gopal in the line-up. Sanju Samson has to perform while batting at number 3 now who has surprisingly gone quiet after starting the season with a bang. The bowling attack fared well and there should be no changes in that aspect.
Probable XI: Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Ish Sodhi, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni
Kings XI Punjab
Manzoor Dar, the big man from Kashmir, might make his IPL debut in Jaipur by replacing Mayank Agarwal who has looked good in patches this season. The brittle middle-order of Punjab almost cost them the game against the same opposition the other day and will have to perform well now. The bowling attack is looking strong as ever with the skipper Ashwin leading from the front. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been the standout performer for them this season and has played every game this season.
Probable XI: KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Manzoor Dar, Manoj Tiwary, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, R Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Focus will be on
Ajinkya Rahane (Rajasthan Royals)
Ajinkya Rahane has failed to lead from the front for his team completely. His role as the skipper has come under the scanner now after making some bewildering changes to the team. Moreover, he has not been able to inspire the team filled with the superstars. He has been off colour with the bat also and has scored only 230 runs in 8 matches. It is time now that he anchors the innings now and others bat around him. The way he leads his team in this game will decide which way this match will go.
Chris Gayle (Kings XI Punjab)
Chris Gayle has lost his touch suddenly after winning a couple of matches. The teams might have found a way to keep him quiet but he is a champion cricketer and should find a way to come back in form. His contribution at the top of the order is so crucial for his team as their middle order has struggled throughout the season. Also, he needs to build a partnership along with his in-form partner Rahul and then can look to tonk the ball in the latter half of the innings.
Head to Head
Played- 16, Kings XI Punjab – 6, Rajasthan Royals – 9, Tie- 1 (Kings XI won the super over)
199 – Number of sixes Sanju Samson has hit in his professional career so far; the form he is in Samson will want to complete 200 sixes in this match.
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Jalsha (Bengali), Star Maa Movies (Telegu), Star Sports Tamil
Online– Hotstar & YuppTv
Match Timings: 20:00 IST, 14:30 GMT