IPL 2018, Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Jaipur, :Three consecutive defeats have more or less sealed their fate and for things to turn around for the Royals, every aspect of their game needs to improve and click for them After slamming the boundary off the first ball, Rahul gets a bottom edge off a low full toss as the batsman change ends. Stoinis hits slightly wide of long off for two runs. Rahul who again knew the ball will be around the tramline on the offside, tried to reverse sweep, looked out of shape and ugly, but gets the single. Won’t really matter when the asking rate is over 20. Unadkat finishes with another wide yorker, which Stoinis isn’t able to get it away.
They are taking on Punjab, placed third in the table, just a day after losing to them by six wickets in Indore, where neither the bowlers nor the batsmen could do a convincing job. Nothing has gone right for the winners of the inaugural edition of the IPL, who lost their pillar – Australian Steven Smith – to the ball-tampering scandal. KX1P vs RR
The lackluster performance by their batsmen and bowlers have landed them in a position where they need to win all their remaining games and also pray for favorable results in order to qualify for the playoffs.
KX1P vs RR The hosts are back on their home turf, where they have recorded two of their three victories, but they need to start afresh. Three consecutive defeats, including a narrow one against Delhi Daredevils, has left them demoralized and their mentor, the legendary Shane Warne, too wore a dejected look in the dugout from where he saw the Royals miss out on half chances.
Average performance by captain Ajinkya Rahane and below-par show of English all-rounder Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathi has hurt them badly and the hosts need all these batsmen to fire.
West Indian bowler Jofra Archer, though, has been impressive and the only saving grace for them while expensive pacer Jaydev Unadkat has been a complete let-down, taking just seven wickets at a poor 9.86 economy rate.
On the other hand, the visitors are back to winning ways after an emphatic triumph over the Royals and would look to consolidate their position in the top-four. Punjab can even take the second place if they win, provided they improve their NRR. Sodhi is brought into the attack and he hits the right areas straight away. An appeal off the first ball is turned down by the umpire and Rahane at slip thinks off taking the review and the replays show the ball did hit the pad first, but the turn meant the ball was missing the off stump. Nath tries the reverse sweep to no good effect as Sodhi delivers a tidy first over giving away just a couple off runs.
Though they rely heavily on good partnerships between Chris Gayle and KL Rahul the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, and Marcus Stoinis have been able to contribute handsomely.
Their bowling too has the variety with old warhorse R. Ashwin, Axar Patel and the new sensation from Afghanistan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, proving more than a handful for the opponent.
Squads by KX1P vs RR
Rajasthan Royals: Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler (WK), Rahul Tripathi, D’Arcy Short, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Ajinkya Rahane(Captain), Heinrich Klaasen, Ish Sodhi.
Kings XI Punjab: Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (Captain), Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, Lokesh Rahul (WK), Chris Gayle, David Miller, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Manoj Tiwary, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye, Akshdeep Nath, Ben Dwarshuis, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar, Manzoor Dar.