Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals: Match Preview, Team News and Lineups

Kings XI Punjab will be looking for another win to strengthen their hold of a semi-final berth.

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5th May is definitely going to be an exciting Sunday with two extremely important matches lined up in the VIVO IPL on that day. The first one between the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders and the second one is between Kings XI Punjab and the Rajasthan Royals. The points table will be affected immensely by these couple of matches and hence all the four teams will try and put forward their best game.

The KXIP vs RR game will be played at the Holkar Stadium, Indore and we expect this game to be a high scoring thriller. Indore always has been a high scoring venue and with big hitters in both the sides we feel that score in excess of 175 is absolutely necessary for the team who will be batting first.

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Previous Encounter:

KXIP and RR have faced off against each other 15 times in the IPL with RR winning 9 of those 15 encounters. Clearly, RR is having an upper hand over KXIP in terms of the number of matches won by either of these sides when they played each other. But with the kind of form Punjab is in, this Rajasthan versus Punjab encounter is expected to be an exciting one.

Current Form:

Punjab has been in great form in this tournament and despite their last match loss to Mumbai Indians will still be having an edge over Rajasthan in this clash. Punjab’s opening partnership of Chris Gayle and Lokesh Rahul is the one aspect that Punjab will be banking on again in this match. Gayle and Rahul were exceptional in Punjab’s previous match against MI and it was after Rahul’s departure that the Punjab team never quite got going. Punjab’s middle order looked out of sorts against MI and it was Marcus Stoinis’s hitting in the final over that took KXIP to 174/6, else at one stage, it looked like they would not even reach 165. Punjab’s surely are having issues in their bowling as was evident in their previous match. As soon as Mujeeb Ur Rahman was taken to the cleaners by Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya the entire KXIP bowling unit fell apart.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, lost a pretty close game against Delhi Daredevils. The bowling of RR isn’t that good except for Jofra Archer and since in the previous match he was smashed by the Delhi batsmen the bowling unit never looked menacing. The bowling is definitely a concern for RR and with big-hitters like Gayle, Rahul, Yuvraj, Mayank Agarwal in the opposition, RR will be in massive trouble if their bowlers continue to bowl the way they have bowled so far in the tournament. Rajasthan’s batting too has not been that great though in the previous match Jos Buttler and D’Arcy Short returned to some great form.

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Team News and Strategies:

Yuvraj Singh’s poor form continued in KXIP’s previous match against MI and it might be possible that he might make way for Manoj Tiwary. But if KXIP persist with him there’s a chance that he might be asked to bowl a few overs in order to find some confidence back. Also, the fact that Rajasthan has quite a few left-handers in their squad means that Axar Patel might be dropped and Barinder Sran will get a chance ahead of him. The Rajasthan team, meanwhile, is expected to play with the same XI though it will be interesting to see whether Buttler opens or Rahane returns to the top spot.
Probable Lineups:

Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary/Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, R Ashwin (c), Axar Patel/Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (c), D’Arcy Short, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni.

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