Match 32 of VIVO IPL 2019 will be the return fixture between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. The previous match between the two teams – played in Jaipur – will be remembered for Ravichandran Ashwin running out Jos Buttler backing up too far at the non-striker’s end, and the Royals’ collapse thereafter.
KXIP are part of the mid table muddle with four wins and as many losses, while the Rajasthan Royals are languishing closer to the bottom with two wins and five losses.
Kings XI Punjab have lost their last two matches and will look to arrest the slide. They will know they hadn’t done too much wrong in those last two matches and only need to do a few small things better. The one area they need to consciously address is to not lift the foot from the accelerator when they’re in cruise mode. They slowed down a touch mid-innings in their matches against MI and RCB, and it hurt them.
The Royals will be feeling confident after the much-needed win against the Mumbai Indians. On several occasions prior to that win, the Royals had unknowingly snatched defeat from their opponents. But having crossed the line now, they will want to do that regularly and make winning a habit.
KXIP play three consecutive away matches post this, and they could really do with a win before they hit the road. The Rajasthan Royals meanwhile would like to post a win before they head back to the ‘fortress’ for back-to-back matches.
16 April 2019, 8pm IST
IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Previous Match XIs:
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Sam Curran, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, R Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Liam Livingstone, Shreyas Gopal, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.
KL Rahul (335) and Chris Gayle (322) are KXIP’s top two run-getters this season, with Mayank Agarwal coming a distant third. KXIP will want their openers to extend their run-scoring ways. Rahul, with the World Cup selection mystery now solved, should be more relaxed. The right-hand opener is a natural stroke-maker, and he needs to realise that it isn’t part of his game to manufacture shots. Mayank Agarwal has been batting well too – and it is about time he becomes a bankable number three for the team.
Jos Buttler is the biggest match-winner in the Rajasthan Royals’ batting line-up; he was the team’s top run-getter in 2018 and tops the list yet again. Barring the two single-digit scores in the immediate aftermath of the ‘mankading’ incident, Buttler has scored runs in every hit. In the previous match against MI, he single-handedly helped the Royals chase down a stiff target. The Royals will also be delighted to have their captain back among the runs; Ajinkya Rahane scored a fluent 37 in the win against MI.
The KXIP pacers had combined returns of 1-114 from 11 overs in their previous match, and that is an area they could tighten up. For Rajasthan Royals, Jofra Archer (7 wickets) and Shreyas Gopal (8 wickets) have been the standout bowlers; they have not only picked up important wickets, but have also been pretty economical.
Head to Head in Indian Premier League
Overall: Matches – 18, Kings XI Punjab – 8, Rajasthan Royals – 10.
Kings XI Punjab have a 3-1 win-loss record in matches at home this season.
The Rajasthan Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane has been very lucky at coin-tosses; he’s won 5 of the 7 tosses this season. His opposite number R Ashwin has won only 3 tosses in 8 matches.
Jos Buttler has scored half-centuries in his last four innings against KXIP.
Steve Smith and Chris Gayle have strike-rates of 94.25 and 96.22 respectively against spinners this season.