PREVIEW: M4 – RR VS KXIP 25 March 2019

What

Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab will come up against each other in Match 4 of VIVO IPL 2019.

The Rajasthan Royals – boosted by the return of Steve Smith – have made some exciting additions to their side in the form of Ashton Turner and Oshane Thomas. RR exceeded expectations last season when they sneaked into the top four. With a much better side this season, the franchise will look to go further than they did in 2018.

Kings XI Punjab have undergone a sea change from last season. There has been a change at the helm– with Mike Hesson taking over as coach, and the franchise announced they were retaining only nine players who donned the red and silver last season. The team spent big sums of money at the player auctions to acquire the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and the English all-rounder Sam Curran.

RR will have their first-choice XI available for their season opener, while KXIP will be handicapped for their opening game – with David Miller still doing international duties for South Africa.

When

25 March 2019, 8pm IST

Where

Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Likely XIs:

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, JaydevUnadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, SudhesanMidhun.

Kings XI Punjab:KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Moises Henriques, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Varun Chakravarthy, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Zadran.

Protagonists

The Rajasthan Royals rode on Jos Buttler’s success as opener in 2018, while Kings XI Punjab rode on KL Rahul’s success in a similar role. Both players have blown hot and cold since then and will want to rediscover last season’s form as quickly as possible.

Look out for Universe Boss Chris Gayle, who seems to have rediscovered his mojo; the Jamaican smashed two centuries and two half-centuries in the ODI series against England not too long ago. Gayle and Rahul provided KXIP brisk starts for most part of last season, and the team management will want them to do more of the season in VIVO IPL 2019.

On the bowling front, all eyes will be on Jofra Archer – who has another opportunity to convince the England selectors that he deserves to be part of the World Cup squad, and on the Tamil Nadu mystery spinner Varun Chakrabarthy for who KXIP paid INR 8.4 crores.

 Head to Head in Indian Premier League

Matches – 17, Rajasthan Royals – 10, Kings XI Punjab – 7

Last season both teams won their respective home fixtures. KL Rahul starred in both matches for KXIP; he scored an unbeaten 84 from 54 balls in the 6-wicket win in Indore , and followed it up with a 95 not out which wasn’t sufficient to take KXIP over the line in Jaipur. For the Rajasthan Royals, Jos Buttler starred with the bat in both matches; he scored 51 in Indore followed by an 82 which set up a 15-run win in Jaipur.

Trivia

Rajasthan Royals have an outstanding record in IPL matches at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur; their win-loss record reads: won – 29, lost – 11.

Kings XI Punjab have never won a match in five visits to the Sawai Mansingh Stadium

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