IPL 2019 – Match 4: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab – KXIP Predicted Playing XI

Kings XI retained just 10 players ahead of the auction and roped in 13 more into the squad, giving their side a pretty different look.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Anuraag Peesara

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Both the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) had a decent outing last season in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but Punjab fell agonizingly short of a place in the final four. It has been the case for Preity Zinta’s team in the last two seasons where they narrowly missed out on a final four spot as their form dipped towards the business end.

Kings XI retained just 10 players ahead of the auction and roped in 13 more into the squad, giving their side a pretty different look. They spilled a lot of cash on rookie Tamil Nadu-all-rounder Varun Chakravarthy and talented English all-rounder Sam Curran and will be interesting to see how that will pan out.

The 2014 season runners will be kick-starting their 12th edition against the inaugural champions at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. There’s a lot to prove and both sides will be hungry for a different fate this time, which should make this contest all the more exciting for the viewers. Let’s have a look at the KXIP probable XI for the game.

Openers – Chris Gayle, KL Rahul

Arguably the greatest T20 cricketer of all time, Christopher Henry Gayle is a name that barely needs an introduction. With over 11,000 runs in over 350 matches, what he achieved in this format will take a monumental effort to eclipse. His recent form will be a great boost for the Kings.

KL Rahul was back after a TV show debacle and did seem hungry to prove a point with the bat. He had a memorable outing with the bat last time and was right among the top run scorers. There are no reason suggesting he won’t be able to replicate the same this time and ahead of the World Cup, this is his final opportunity to get match practice.

Middle Order – Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Mandeep Singh

Karun Nair
Karun Nair plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)

There’s some Indian talent to go with a bit of Caribbean flair in this Punjab middle order. Mayank Agarwal, who recently made his Test debut in the four-match Test series against Australia, will come in at number 3 with the experienced Karun Nair coming in at number 4.

Their new recruits Nicholas Pooran and Mandeep Singh will be mustering a lot of attention. Pooran has been tormenting bowling units in most of the T20 leagues he has participated and Mandeep is a proven talent at this level, which makes their middle order look very compact.

All-rounders – Varun Chakravarthy, Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin
Kings XI Punjab’s Ravichandran Ashwin in action. (Photo by IANS)

Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin has a lot of thinking to do in terms of the permutations and combinations, but the XI will be pretty similar to what it was last time. They retained their core players and those are set to feature in the XI, making Ashwin’s job a little easier.

A new addition to the side and also the costliest of this edition in the auction, Varun Chakravarthy is a relatively unknown commodity but most teams would be aware of his ability. His price tag might fetch him a place in the XI immediately but to keep hold of it would be a tough ask for the 27-year-old.

Bowlers – Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot

Andrew Tye
Kings XI Punjab’s Andrew Tye celebrates fall of Suryakumar Yadav’s wicket. (Photo by IANS)

One of their biggest weapons with the ball, Mujeeb Ur Rahman will continue to be their main man in the bowling department. He can bowl in the powerplay and can also take up some crucial overs in the death, making him an invaluable asset to the side.

Among Ankit Rajpoot and Mohammed Shami, they have place only for one player and the management might go with Rajpoot initially. Andrew Tye earned the purple cap for his exceptional performance last season and the T20 specialist bowler is a certain starter.

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