The twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League has crossed the halfway mark, and in Match number 32 we will watch the Kings XI Punjab locking horns with the inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
The Ravichandran Ashwin-led Punjab outfit, despite starting off well and making a mark in the tournament, have hit a rough patch and have squandered their position.
They possess a squad with great depth and variety in both the batting and bowling departments. With some enviable talent in their squad, they do have the fuel and mileage to go all the way.
The Royals team, led by Ajinkya Rahane, is one that has traditionally underperformed in the IPL, and they have begun in the exact same vein this time around too.
They boast of a good blend of foreign and Indian talent, but a few of their superstars have been misfiring, and that has adversely impacted their fortunes.
It is a relatively young outfit that has the potential to surprise many like they did in the inaugural season, though they have thoroughly disappointed their fans by losing all but two of the seven games they were involved in.
On the other hand, the Kings XI have managed to win four and lose four of their eight matches thus far, and are highly unpredictable.
Kings XI (Probable XI): KL Rahul (WK), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin.
Rajasthan Royals (Probable XI): Ajinkya Rahane (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.
KL Rahul vs Jofra Archer
KL Rahul has been in sensational nick, and that is evident from the three fifties and one century he has scored in this season of the IPL.
The Karnataka batsman has managed to score 1719 IPL runs, at a strike rate of 137.63, with a stellar average of 41.92.
The last season of the IPL saw Jofra Archer being a revelation for the Royals with some scintillating bowling performances.
He has 22 wickets from 17 matches, at a strike rate of 17.95 with an impressive economy rate of 7.89.
The Barbadian pacer was a part of the West Indies Under-19 team, and has been rather successful in reining in the batsmen in this season’s IPL.
Ravichandran Ashwin vs Jos Buttler
Ravichandran Ashwin brewed up a controversy when he ‘Mankaded’ Jos Buttler when these two teams met last in the IPL, at Jaipur.
Punjab won on that eventful day, and it will be interesting to see the duo clashing against each other. The Indian spinner has 119 wickets to his name, striking at 23.41 with an incredible economy rate of 6.79.
Jos Buttler was one of the champion performers in the last edition of the IPL, and has been in excellent nick for England since then.
The wicketkeeper has 1363 runs from 44 IPL matches, at 35.87 with an excellent strike rate of 151.11.
The Somerset keeper used to play for the Mumbai Indians and it will be exciting to see if he could replicate his last-season heroics .
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Taking into consideration the inexperience and lack of chemistry of the Punjab team, coupled with the Royals seeking revenge, Team CricWizz expects Rajasthan Royals to win its match against the Kings XI.
But the Royals find themselves in a precarious do-or-die situation and this makes them unpredictable.
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