Having lost their previous game against the same opposition in an away contest, Rajasthan Royals are eyeing to take a revenge against Kings XI Punjab when they host them tonight at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur.
Languishing at the bottom with just 3 wins from 9 games the Royals have their backs against the wall. The find themselves in a must-win situation in their 5 remaining games and will have to play out of their skin to give themselves a chance.
Their big players in D'Arcy Short and Ben Stokes have disappointed them big time. Jaydev Unadkat as well, the highest paid Indian player this season has done no justice to his price tag. The Royals thus are at a loss of ideas as to what combination to try to churn out wins in the remaining games.
The collective lack of contributions from key overseas players and the muddled strategy in terms of the batting order hasn't helped him. Jos Buttler's successful promotion to the opening slot came about as an accident in a rain-truncated game, leaving the Royals with much more to ponder about in hindsight.
Kings XI, on the other hand, look a settled unit. Under Ashwin's captaincy, the team has blossomed and played some fabulous cricket in the tournament so far. The Gayle - Rahul combination has worked for them perfectly with Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair taking the responsibility in the middle order. Yuvraj Singh's form is a reason of concern for Punjab and they have not shy away from even dropping him from the playing XI.
Bowling wise, Mujeeb has been a revelation for them picking up 12 wickets from 9 matches. Andrew Tye too is in the list of highest wicket-takers with 12 wickets as well. Both of them have tormented the opposition throughout the season so far and have played a key role in their team's success.
As far as team changes from both camps are concerned, Short's form keeps RR on the edge and might see some forced changes made in the playing XI. In that case, Klassen might get yet another. The bowling line up might not see any changes.
Rajasthan Royals have won the toss and have opted to bat
Kings XI Punjab : Lokesh Rahul(w), Chris Gayle, Akshdeep Nath, Karun Nair, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Manoj Tiwary, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Rajasthan Royals : Jos Buttler(w), Ajinkya Rahane(c), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Mahipal Lomror, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Ish Sodhi, Anureet Singh