IPL 2018, KXIP vs RR: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) probable playing XI to take on Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Kings XI would loom to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to Mumbai last time around.
After a week-long break, the Kings XI Punjab went in for a plethora of changes in a bid to unsettle the Mumbai Indians. But as they say "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go in awry."
Heading into a crucial clash against Rajasthan, KXIP would be hoping for a quick turnaround in a bid to solidify their position in the top-four.
On that note, let us look at the probable playing eleven that KXIP is likely to field against the Rajasthan Royals
#1 KL Rahul (Wicket-Keeper)
Opening the batting will be KL Rahul. Rahul, who stroked a 14-ball 51 in the first match against Delhi has been in excellent touch in this season and has already accumulated 268 runs at a strike-rate of 170.70.
Rahul looked good in the previous game against MI as well, scoring 24 off 20 balls, but he would be looking to capitalise on the start in the next match against Rajasthan Royals.
#2 Chris Gayle
The Universe Boss missed out in the last game against SRH but has been in swashbuckling form this season, having already scored two fifties and a hundred in four games.
With 302 runs at a strike-rate of 161.53, in just four games, Gayle relished the opportunity of playing on a relatively small Holkar stadium, and stroked a pristine 50 off 40 balls, before holing out to Ben Cutting against Mumbai Indians.
Rahul and Gayle again put together 50-run stand against Mumbai and would be looking to continue with the momentum against Rajasthan.
#3 Mayank Agarwal
In at No. 3 will be Mayank Agarwal. Agarwal, who came into the tournament with an astounding domestic season under him, has not yet set the stage on fire in the 2018 edition thus far.
Agarwal was inexplicably sent at No.7 in the last match against MI and scrapped to a 7-ball-11, and would be looking for an opportunity in the top-3 against Rajasthan Royals.
#4 Karun Nair
Coming in at No.4 will be Karun Nair. The Karnataka batsman has played the role of an anchor thus far for the KXIP in the tournament.
Nair stoked a 12-ball-23 and would be looking to kick on and get a solid score against Rajasthan Royals.
#5 Yuvraj Singh
After one indifferent match, Manoj Tiwary was dropped in favor of Yuvraj Singh. The Southpaw though made a hash of the opportunity with a sub-par 14 off 14 balls.
With just 64 runs in seven matches at an average of 12.80 and a strike-rate of only 91.42, time is running out for Yuvi, and the game against Rajasthan might define his IPL season moving forward.
#6 Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stonis was slotted in the playing eleven in place of a struggling Aaron Finch. Coming in a No.6, Stoinis stroked some lusty blows at the death to take KXIP's total to a respectable 6-174.
With the bowl, however, Stoinis at best was ordinary as he gave away 37 runs in three overs, and would be looking for a complete All-round performance against RR.
#7 Ravichandran Ashwin (Captain)
In at No. 7 will be KXIP's skipper Ravi Ashwin. Ashwin's captaincy came in for a flake with his batting order decisions of sending Yuvi at No.3 and Axar Patel ahead of Agarwal
On the bowling front, while Ashwin (0-23 against MI) have contained the runs, he has struggled to take wickets in the middle-overs and have just received five wickets at an average of 44.80.
#8 Mujeeb Ur Rahman
17-year-old Mujeeb ur Rahman continues to grow by leaps and bounds in the IPL. With a plethora of variations at his disposal, the Afghan bowler has managed to deceive batsmen with guile. He has picked up seven wickets at an average of 25.14, at an enviable economy of 6.51.
Rahman (2-37) was the pick of Punjab's bowlers in the game against Mumbai Indians, and will once again lead the spin bowling attack with Ashwin.
#9 Barinder Sran
With Rajasthan possessing two left-handers in their batting line-up, Punjab may slot in Barinder Sran for Axar Patel, who bowled just a solitary over against Mumbai.
Having picked up just three wickets in five matches at an economy of 9.52, Sran needs to step-up in a bid to consolidate his position in the side.
#10 Ankit Rajpoot
After ripping through the Williamson-led Hyderabad batting unit with incredible figures of 5-14, Rajpoot had a game to forget against MI, as he leaked 31 runs in three overs.
Nevertheless, Rajpoot will lead the attack against RR and would be hoping to repeat an encore of his returns against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
#11 Andrew Tye
The go-to bowler for Ashwin at the death, Andrew Tye did not mainly have a great game against Mumbai, as he conceded 35 in four overs, and will be looking to up his game against the Rajasthan Royals.
The Australian has been an essential component of KXIP's fast-bowling department and has accounted for ten wickets at an average of 25.30 and a strike-rate of 19.20.
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