An inconsistent Kings XI Punjab will look to sort their bowling woes and regain the momentum when they host a rejuvenated Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Tuesday. The R Ashwin led Kings XI slipped to number fifth spot after suffering back-to-back losses against Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively. Overall, the hosts have registered four wins from eight matches.
The return fixture between these two sides being the match they most looked forward to watching. In the post-mankad world though, this is going to be a game where non-strikers will be watched as closely as batsmen and bowlers.
Under particular scrutiny will be the two protagonists of the drama that kicked off these two teams’, R Ashwin and Jos Buttler. The bowling attack of Kings XI has been good only in patches. They failed to defend 197 against MI the other day with Kieron Pollard’s knock of 31-ball 83 blowing them away.In their last game against RCB, Punjab’s bowling again failed as they allowed the opposition overhaul the target of 173 with four balls to spare. Mohammad Shami, Andrew Tye and all-rounder Sam Curran gave away too many runs to hurt the hosts and they will need to bowl a tight line to support their skipper R Ashwin, who has the ability to frustrate even top batsmen with his intelligent bowling.
“We let ourselves down on the field. We have a few more games at home and We need to string some wins and gain some momentum,” Ashwin had said. Rajasthan, on the other hand, come into this match with a win under their belt. They defeated Mumbai Indians on the latter’s home turf by four wickets and are currently placed at the seventh spot with two wins from seven matches. Opener Jos Buttler’s 43-ball 89 was the cornerstone of Rajasthan’s chase of 188 against Mumbai. He was supported well by Rahane’s 37 and Sanju Samson’s 31 to achieve the victory target.
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sam Curran, Hardus Viljoen, R Ashwin (capt), Mohammed Shami, M Ashwin
Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Ashton Turner, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni