Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 19 April 2014 - 08:47pm IST
Preview: Match 7 – RR v KXIP
Upbeat KXIP take on Royals in Sharjah
Match 6 of Pepsi IPL 2014 will see the Rajasthan Royals lock horns with Kings XI Punjab.
Both teams registered wins in their previous matches; while RR picked up their first set of points by outclassing the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab cantered to a convincing six-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings in a chase of 206.
Sunday, April 20, 2014, 8 pm IST
Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
In a team that does not have too many explosive players at the top of the order, it is important that their skipper, Shane Watson, bats in the top three. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar and Sanju Samson can help build an innings, but it is critical that someone like Watson bats higher up the order to set the impetus.
Virender Sehwag, David Miller and Mitchell Johnson could force their way into most teams and be counted among the central characters in the scheme of things. However, after his whirlwind match-winning effort against the Chennai Super Kings, there will be lofty expectations from Glenn Maxwell. The Australian, who had done nothing spectacular in his previous appearances in the IPL, showed no mercy to the CSK bowlers and smashed 15 boundaries and two sixes as he raced to 95 off 43 balls.
Notes from previous match
Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad: Though RR prevailed in their opening fixture, they will be concerned by the lack of runs from their batsmen. Despite chasing a modest 134, five RR batsmen were dismissed for single-digit scores and it was left to measured and mature knocks from AJinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny to see them home. The positive from that match was that the bowlers did not dish out too many “hit-me” deliveries; though SRH batted their entire quota of 20 overs, they only managed to pick six boundaries and two sixes off the RR bowlers.
Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings: Though they won their opening match, KXIP will know that they cannot chase down such lofty totals regularly – and should not be faced with such large targets. That they conceded in excess of 200 runs should be a concern for the team management and that is the one area they need a definite improvement in. The ploy not to give Mitchell Johnson the new ball too needs reconsideration.
The head-to-head between the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab is hopelessly lop-sided in favour of the former. Of the 11 times the two teams have met, RR have finished triumphant on eight occasions.
Rajasthan Royals have an incredible record in run-chases; of the 48 times they have had to chase targets, they have gone past the finish line on 31 occasions. Their 64.6 percent success rate in run-chases is the highest among all teams in the IPL.
The four overseas players in the Rajasthan Royals playing XI for their last match were all Australians – Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, James Faulkner and Kane Richardson.
Kings XI Punjab will have one day to regroup before they take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Sharjah on April 22. The Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, travel to Dubai for their fixture against Chennai Super Kings on April 23.