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IPL 2019, Match 32- KXIP Vs RR, Preview: Middle-Order Concerns In Focus As Kings Are Up Against Reloaded Royals

In the 32nd match of the intriguing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 expedition, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will be hosting the Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on April 16. Both the team will be entering into this match after witnessing contrasting results in their respective previous outings. However, there was a whole lot of drama which unfolded when these two teams met each other earlier in the tournament. The Ravichandran Ashwin-led team marched out with a 14-run win after RR wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler became the first player to be ‘Mankaded’ in the history of the IPL.

KXIP’s backstory

Kings XI Punjab team are coming into this game after conceding a comprehensive 8-wicket loss in the last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The middle-order batters seem to have not learning their lessons as the high dependency on the opening duo comprising of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul has clearly been evident in majority of this games this season. Mandeep Singh has not been given much of opportunities but the likes of Mayank Agarwal and Sarfaraz Khan have surely failed to strike with some sort of consistency.

The KXIP bowlers have leaked too many runs in the last two games against Bangalore and Mumbai. Sam Curran has done very well in patches but in the last few matches he has been under the pump, while Andrew Tye has not been at his best this season which has piled on to the miseries. However, the bowlers will be keen to put forward an improved performance in the upcoming games.

RR’s backstory

 The Ajinkya Rahane-led team is entering into this match after finally striking back to winning ways, defeating Mumbai by 4 wickets in the last game. However, even with this victory, the RR team management will still be concerned about the batting woes. Jos Buttler’s arrival back in form will be the biggest positive from the previous game, while the likes of Steven Smith, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi have disappointed very much in the last few outings.

Barring the likes of Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal, the rest of the bowlers have surely been under the radar thus far in the tournament. Nonetheless, now with a win on their back, the bowlers would be hoping to put forward an improved performance in the upcoming games of the tournament.

Head to Head Battle

Matches

KXIP

RR

Overall (18)

8

10

At the PCA Stadium (6)

3

3

Kings XI Punjab’s likely Playing XI

The in-form opening duo comprising of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul will be opening the innings. Mayank Agarwal has looked struggling with form in the last few matches and he will be desperately eyeing to come up with an impressive performance in this game. He will come in at number three and Sarfaraz Khan will take up the fourth position. The KXIP team management took a bold call to include Nicholas Pooran in place of David Miller and the decision is likely to be retained in this game as well.

Mandeep Singh will play as a floater, while skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and Murugan Ashwin will handle the spin bowling duties. Andrew Tye will probably make way for Hardus Viljoen and thus, the latter will partner with Mohammed Shami and Sam Curran in pace bowling attack.

Probable XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Hardus Viljoen, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin.

Rajasthan Royals’ likely Playing XI

After a brilliant victory, the RR team management have absolutely no reasons to tinker with the winning combination. This means that the pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler will once again take the guard as the openers. Sanju Samson will take up the big responsibility of heading the middle-order which will include the likes of Steven Smith and Rahul Tripathi. There is still no clear update of Ben Stokes’ injury status and thus, his replacement Liam Livingstone will retain his spot.

The Karnataka duo comprising of Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham will take care of the spin bowling duties. The likes of Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni are likely to be given one final chance and these two along with Jofra Archer will be the three fast bowlers.

Probable XI: Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Liam Livingstone, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.

Match Timings- 8:00 pm IST and local

Broadcast Details- Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi and Star Sports 1 Hindi HD.

Live Ball By Ball Update: KINGS XI PUNJAB vs RAJASTHAN ROYALS

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