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What ails KXIP after their loss against RCB

Keval Tetar
642   //    16 May 2018, 16:00 IST

Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab - IPL T20 Match
Ravichandran Ashwin's team is in big trouble after their heavy loss against RCB

Who would have thought that Kings XI Punjab would struggle to make it to the playoffs after such an impressive start? Kings XI had only lost one game out of their first six games. Now, they have won only one from the next six. The way their batting collapsed against RCB is worrying for them.

Except KL Rahul, other batsmen have failed to deliver. Gayle is struggling after scoring more than 200 runs in his first three games. Andrew Tye has been their standout bowler with 20 wickets and holds the purple cap. In the batting department, the middle order and lower middle order's form is a big concern for them.

Problem in the middle order

Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab - IPL T20 Match
The middle order has not supported the openers for Punjab

Karin Nair has played some good knocks, but others have failed. Mayank Agarwal has disappointed after having a fantastic domestic season and has underperformed for his IPL team.  

Aaron Finch hasn't got going this year and has failed to use his vast experience in this format, and has been a big flop for them so far. David Miller has been in and out of the side, and should start in the remaining two games of the league stage.

Tough time for Ravichandran Ashwin as a skipper

Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab - IPL T20 Match
Ashwin's real test as a skipper is now

When Kings XI won four matches in a row to go second in the league table, it was a dream start for Ashwin as Kings XI skipper. Since then, things have changed dramatically. They have lost six games now and are low in confidence. 

This is the biggest test for Ravichandran Ashwin as a captain. He has done okay with his bowling, but he has to now make a big call and leave Chris Gayle out for the last two games. Most importantly, he has to lift his team to win the last two matches.

What's next for them?

With their net run rate now -0.44, they have to win their last two games in IPL 2018. KL Rahul is playing really well, and the rest of the batting line-up have to support him. They have to sort out their problems in the middle order. Meanwhile, in the bowling department, Mujeeb Ur Rehman will play an important role in next two matches with his wily bowling.