The Rajasthan Royals take on the Kings XI Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday in the fourth match of the Indian Premier League. In a clash between two of the most underrated teams in the competition, the stakes will be extremely high and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
The Royals will be led by India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane while it will be Tamil Nadu and India superstar Ravichandran Ashwin who will skipper the Kings.
Here, we look at three key battles from the match that could determine its outcome:
#1 Ben Stokes vs Ravichandran Ashwin
England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is famed for his big-hitting prowess and ability to take the game away from the opposition, could come up against Kings XI Punjab's captain Ravichandran Ashwin. Stokes had a quiet IPL last year and will be looking to make amends for it this season.
Ashwin is an extremely wily bowler and has the ability to read a batsman's weakness. It will be a fascinating battle between the two.
#2 Ajinkya Rahane vs Mohammed Shami
Ajinkya Rahane, who will be leading the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL this season, will face off against his Indian teammate Mohammed Shami. Rahane will open the innings for his team and will be up against Shami, who is back with renewed energy and vigour.
Shami, who is a skilful exponent of the craft of swing bowling, will be aiming to stifle Rahane's run-scoring options and prevent him from getting off to a good start. This will be an exciting battle as both these players will have to perform well in this tournament if they are to make it to India's World Cup squad.
#3 Jaydev Unadkat vs Chris Gayle
Self-proclaimed 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle, who moved to the Kings XI Punjab franchise from the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, will be looking to get his side off to a flying start on Monday. He is someone who can take the game away from the opposition quickly and if not stopped early on, can wreak havoc in the Royals' ranks.
The unenviable task of keeping Gayle quiet will be entrusted upon India quick Jaydev Unadkat, who is brilliant both with the new ball and later on in the slog overs. Unadkat will have his task cut out on Monday but he is someone who can rise to the occasion.
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