Rajasthan Royals started their season campaign with a convincing victory against Chennai Super Kings. RR were playing without Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler and their batting-order wasn’t looking very powerful. However, with Sanju Samson and Steve Smith’s heroics, they put up a massive total of 216 against the three-time champions and won the game by 16 runs.
RR looked quite confident in their first encounter but there were several question marks in their playing combination. Their batting line-up looked quite dependent on the performance of the top order and it’s a major concern in the T20 format. Now, as Buttler is available for selection, their top order looks stronger but the problem with their lower-order is expected to trouble them again.
They won the first contest but CSK scored 200 runs while chasing and their bowling looked extremely average in UAE’s dry conditions. If they want to continue their winning streak, now is the time for them to develop better tactics for death bowling as Kings XI Punjab’s batting line up is in tremendous form.
Here is the predicted XI for Rajastna Royals in the RR vs KXIP game:-
Openers (Jos Buttler (WK) and Yashasvi Jaiswal)
RR must be delighted to have one of the biggest match-winners, Buttler back in the squad. He is available to play and will directly walk into the line-up, right at the top. Steve Smith opened in his absence and scored a fifty, but Buttler’s ability to dominate in the powerplay makes him more important.
The stumper is expected to take over the gloves from Sanju Samson as well. Yashasvi Jaiswal, one of the most anticipated youngsters of the tournament, will be opening the batting along with Buttler.
He will be expected to stay there and produce a solid foundation for RR. The left-right combination is expected to stay the same in the long run and if Jaiswal wants to showcase his talent at the highest level, he needs to perform in upcoming matches.
Middle Order (Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag)
Steve Smith will be back at his favourite position of batting at no. 3 in this game. However, Sanju Samson looked quite comfortable there in the first game and it will depend on the match situation whether Samson will bat above his skipper or not. With a very strong top four, the Royals are expected to score a big total but their batting is quite dependent on Sanju and Smith.
Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag will be at no. 5 and 6 respectively. They didn’t look in good touch in the first game and would like to change their fortunes in this match. With a lot of experience under his belt, Uthappa is expected to have a larger impact on the game this time.
All-rounders (Tom Curran and Rahul Tewatia)
With only six proper batsmen in their line-up, Rahul Tewatia and Tom Curran are expected to bat with greater responsibility. However, both of them are bowling all-rounders and they would be needed to bowl four overs as well. Tewatia forms a spin duo with Shreyas Gopal and it will be very important for them to put KXIP batsmen under pressure who looked in excellent touch in their last game.
Bowlers (Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer and Jaydev Unadkat)
In the bowling front, RR look quite settled as they have an excellent combination of three pacers and two spinners. Unadkat and Archer are expected to provide RR with early wickets against KXIP. Shreyas Gopal can be used against Glenn Maxwell as his trouble with leg-spinners are well known in cricket circuit.
The only change Rajasthan are expected to make is Jos Buttler’s comeback in place of David Miller. Their strongest area is their top-order but lack of power-hitters in the middle and lower order is expected to influence their performance in the longer-run.