1. A. Rahane, 2. Shane Watson, 3. S. Samson 4. S. Smith 5. K. Nair 6. D. Hooda 7. J. Faulkner 8. S. Binny 9. C. Morris 10. D. Kulkarni 11. P. Tambe
Kings XI Punjab:
1 Virender Sehwag, 2 M Vohra 3 David Miller, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 Mitchell Johnson, 8 Rishi Dhawan, 9 Akshar Patel, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 A Singh.
The 21st of April will see table toppers Rajasthan Royals take on Kings XI Punjab at Ahmadabad at 8.00PM. Rajasthan has been on roll winning 5 matches on trot beating Chennai Super Kings by 8 wickets but Kings XI Punjab has not started their IPL campaign on bright note losing 3 matches and winning only one. It will be an interesting battle to see that Rajasthan can continue their winning streak or Kings XI Punjab can come back to winning ways. The pitch at Ahmadabad has helped the spinners and Chennai Super Kings were able to score 156 only.
PREVIOUS YEAR CLASHES:
The first time they met was on 20th April 2014 in Sharjah. It was a high scoring match. Kings XI Punjab won the toss and elected to field. Rajasthan Royals batsmen batted aggressively and did not allow Kings XI Punjab bowlers to settle into a line and length. Samson and Watson were top scorers with 52 and 50. At the end Faulkner provided the finishing touch scoring 27 off 15 balls to help Rajasthan post a competitive total of 191 for 5 in 20 over’s. While Chasing Punjab lost 2 quick wickets but after that Maxwell and Pujara put a important third wicket stand. Maxwell smashed 89 off 45 balls. After losing Maxwell, Miller hit 51 off 19 balls. Kings XI Punjab won the match by 7 wickets with 8 balls to spare.
After 27 days they met again in Mohali on 23rd May. Rajasthan Royals won the toss and elected to field. It was a high scoring match. Kings XI Punjab top 6 batsmen contributed. The top scorer for Kings XI Punjab was Shuan Marsh with 40 runs. Kings XI Punjab scored 179 for 4 in 20 over’s. While Chasing Rajasthan batsmen were able to get starts but not able to convert it into a big score. Faulkner at the end did try to get past the score but his 35 off 13 was not enough. Rajasthan Royals was able to score 163 for 8 and lost the match by 16 runs.
Rahane looked in fine form against Chennai Super Kings. He made sure that while chasing 157 the team got off to a solid start. He and Watson ensured that Rajasthan Royals won the match with ease. Rahane remained not out on 76 and was named man of match. Against Kings XI Punjab he needs to provide again a good start to the team so that the middle order can build upon.
In the match against Chennai Super Kings Chris Morris bowled exceptionally well. He bowled well in the powerplay over’s and created pressure on the batsmen. In the death over’s he did not allow the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni to hit big strokes. He conceded only 19 runs in 4 over’s and picked 1 wicket also. Against Punjab he needs to do same role.
Geroge Bailey played a captains knock in the previous match against Kolkata Knight Riders. He came at a difficult time and played some aggressive strokes. Bailey scored 60 off 45 balls to help Punjab to post 155 in 20 over’s which was not enough. He needs to lead from the front and make sure that other batsmen score to stop the winning streak of Rajasthan Royals.
Sandeep Sharma bowled a great spell against Kolkata Knight Riders. He created pressure on the batsmen and picked up vital wickets. He ensured that Punjab stay in the game. He took wickets of Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Uthappa and Ten Doeschaste. At one stage Kolkata were 60 for 5 but Andre Russell and Pathan took the game away. Against Rajasthan Royals he needs to provide initial breakthroughs to put pressure on the batsmen.