Both Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals have established their reputation as underdogs in the league.
If there is one word to describe Kings XI Punjab’s (KXIP) and Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) victory in their respective last games, it will be ‘dominance’. And that is precisely what the battle between the two teams will be about when they meet each other at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah on 27th September 2020.
The Royals took the Chennai Super Kings on a rough ride in their first game courtesy Sanju Samson’s blinder with the bat. Samson (74 off merely 34) alongside skipper Steven Smith (69 from 47) ensured to spare no bowler as the duo went on a brutal rampage with the bat before the team posted a massive 216 for 7 on the board.
If anything, their marvellous top-order looks only more daunting with the addition of Jos Buttler in the scheme of things. A surprise package with the willow came in the form of Jofra Archer, whose 8-ball 27 knock made the difference for his team in the hindsight.
The KXIP’s unit made a brilliant recovery after suffering an agonizing Super Over defeat in their first game. Their gigantic 97-run win over the miserable Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last game has given their Net Run Rate a skyrocketing push.
Skipper KL Rahul was in a scalding touch of form as he pummeled a 69-ball 132 including 14 fours and 7 sixes batting at the top of the order. On the back of his knock, KXIP invited their opponents to chase 207 runs. Coming to defend a defendable total, Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi entrapped the RCB in their spin web.
Both the teams have established their reputation as underdogs in the league. Coming against each other, they would want to continue with the tactics that have paid off for them in their previous games and build a winning momentum going ahead in the tournament.
Pitch and conditions
This is going to be the second match at this venue, and going by what we saw in the first encounter, the short boundaries at Sharjah will be a certain haunt for the bowlers. One may expect another high-scoring encounter after the previous game yielded a record 33 sixes. There will be dew in the latter part of the game, although the teams have been defending totals with ease this time around.
Playing Combinations for RR vs KXIP
Rajasthan Royals Probable 11
Skipper Steve Smith anchored the innings well alongside Sanju Samson in the previous game after youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal failed to make it count as an opener. Jos Buttler, who missed the first match due to quarantine rules, will be a massive boost for the RR’s batting unit and he will come in at the expense of David Miller. Robin Uthappa will complete their middle-order.
Rahul Tewatia was magnificent with the ball in the last game as he bagged a 3-for and disrupted the top-order. Tom Curran and Jayadev Unadkat leaked runs with both hands and would be extremely desperate to make it count this time around. Jofra Archer shone with both bat and ball and will lead the pace attack.
Probable 11- Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (WK), Steve Smith (C), Robin Uthappa, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat
Kings XI Punjab Probable 11
If anything, KL Rahul was a treat to watch in the last game. He unleashed the beast within himself and slammed the bowlers all over the park. The KXIP outfit might have a temptation to inculcate Chris Gayle in the unit as Nicholas Pooran has not been able to fire thus far. Mayank Agarwal looked fluent for his 26 and will be on duty as an opener alongside the skipper.
None amongst Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, and Sarfaraz Khan have anything to display after the first couple of games. After an impressive job with the ball, both the spinners – Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi – will pick themselves. Mohammad Sham and Sheldon Cottrell have done exceedingly well in leading the pace-bowling attack and will look to repeat the same.
Probable 11- KL Rahul (C & WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle/Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, James Neesham, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell
RR vs KXIP Head to Head
Played- 19 | RR won- 10 | KXIP won- 9 | NR- 0
Match Timings- 7:30 PM (IST), 6:00 PM (Local).
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 Hindi
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