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IPL 2019: Match 4, Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab: Why KXIP will win the match

Sahil Jain
ANALYST
Feature
3.38K   //    24 Mar 2019, 16:00 IST

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By the time Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) lock horns on the 25th of March, all the other teams would’ve played one game each. Both teams had contrasting fortunes last season. Rajasthan Royals were the other team that made a comeback after a two-year hiatus but there was hardly any hype around them. However, they punched above their weight and despite blowing hot and cold throughout the season, they made it to the top four.

Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab had a rousing start to their 2018 campaign as they won five out of their first six games. But their season was derailed as they managed to win just one game out of their last eight matches.

RR and KXIP will kick-start their campaign this season in Jaipur. And here is why Kings XI Punjab will emerge out on top in this battle.


Explosive top-order

There’s absolutely no question about KXIP’s strength. It has to be their top-order and opening pair, in particular. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul form one of the most feared opening pairs in this IPL. Both players have different styles and methodologies but they are explosive.

Everybody knows what Chris Gayle can do. Moreover, if anyone thought he was done and dusted, he roared back with vengeance. He has been in fabulous form. The big Jamaican opener smashed England all around the park in the ODI series as he struck 39 sixes in the five-match series.

On the other hand, KL Rahul had the season of his life last year. He scored 659 runs and was the third highest run-getter in the tournament. He finished with an average of 54.91 and a strike-rate of 158.41. In fact, he broke the record of the fastest IPL fifty last season as he got to the landmark in just 14 balls.

Add to this, the dynamic Mayank Agarwal who is fresh off a dream debut for India and a man of the match performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final. Hence, the KXIP top-order is one the best in this season.


Presence of various mystery spinners

Varun Chakravarthy created headlines on the day of the auction. KXIP broke the bank for this Tamil Nadu mystery spinner who is said to have a plethora of variations. He has done well in the Tamil Nadu Premier League as well as the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Moreover, he is a rather unknown commodity as well.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Ravichandran Ashwin led the charge in the spin department. Ashwin didn’t have a great tournament as he managed to pick up just 10 wickets, it was Mujeeb who constantly gave KXIP crucial breakthroughs. The Afghanistan mystery spinner has made a name for himself playing various T20 leagues around the world. He would’ve got some experience as well.

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Also, Ashwin is a very smart cricketer and can outfox the batsman with his variations. Hence, the combination of Ashwin, Mujeeb and Chakravarthy poses a big threat to the opposition. 

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