Match 50 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 pits Kings XI Punjab against former IPL champions Rajasthan Royals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday.
Kings XI Punjab have had a majestic turnaround after spending more than half the season at the bottom of the points table. After winning just once in their first six IPL 20 games, KL Rahul and co have now won five games on the trot, a sequence of results that has coincided with the introduction of Chris Gayle in their playing XI.
Moreover, the Kings XI Punjab bowlers have also delivered the goods in recent IPL 2020 games, with Chris Jordan complementing Mohammed Shami well in the bowling attack. Adding the likes of Nicholas Pooran and Arshdeep Singh to the equation only sweetens the deal for Kings XI Punjab. With Mayank Agarwal set to return to the playing XI, the franchise will fancy their chances of a sixth consecutive win on Friday.
However, Kings XI Punjab face a daunting challenge in the form of Rajasthan Royals, who come into the game on the back of a stunning eight-wicket win against defending IPL champions Mumbai Indians.
With Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson striking form at the right time, the Royals could prove to be a handful for the likes of Gayle and Rahul. The inaugural IPL champions have a resourceful bowling unit led by Jofra Archer, who has been sensational with the new ball and in the death overs. However, they will hope for a better performance from Tyagi and Gopal if they have to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The reverse fixture between the two sides in IPL 2020 was a classic, where Rahul Tewatia's heroics saw Rajasthan Royals home in a high-scoring thriller. Another entertaining game could be on the cards at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium as both sides eye a top-four finish. With two valuable points up for grabs, we should be in for a riveting contest to kickstart the final week of the IPL 2020 league phase.
Squads to choose from:
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (C), Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, K Gowtham, J Suchith, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin.
Steve Smith (C), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Robin Uthappa, Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ben Stokes, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Tom Curran, Anuj Rawat, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Akash Singh, Andrew Tye, Aniruddha Joshi, Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Kartik Tyagi, Mayank Markande, Oshane Thomas, Rahul Tewatia, Varun Aaron.
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (C&WK), Mandeep Singh/Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin and Arshdeep Singh.
Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Steve Smith (C), Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler (WK), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Rajpoot/Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Kartik Tyagi and Shreyas Gopal.
Match: Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 50
Date: 30th October 2020 at 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
The pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium has played better in recent IPL 2020 games, with the average first innings score in the last three games being 184. The pacers haven't swung the new ball much although there has been ample spin on offer in the middle overs for the spinners to exploit.
The pacers have relied on change of pace more often than not, with back-of-a-length deliveries also reaping rewards on this surface. Batting teams at this venue have generally looked to see out out the powerplay overs before going big at the end, a tactic that could be seen in this game too.
With dew not expected to play much of a role, both teams will look to chase. 170 is considered a par score at this venue as both teams chase a play-off place in IPL 2020.
KXIP vs RR IPL Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Lokesh Rahul, Jos Buttler, Chris Gayle, Riyan Parag, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Ben Stokes, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal.
Captain: KL Rahul. Vice-Captain: Steve Smith.
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Lokesh Rahul, Jos Buttler, Chris Gayle, Riyan Parag, Steve Smith, Nicholas Pooran, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Jofra Archer and Kartik Tyagi.
Captain: KL Rahul. Vice-Captain: Ben Stokes.Published 29 Oct 2020, 14:33 IST