It’s match number 9 in the Dream11 IPL as the Royals from Rajasthan take on the Kings from their neighbouring state Punjab at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday evening.
Rajasthan Royals made a solid start to their campaign, beating the experienced Chennai Super Kings by 16 runs in their opening game, with Sanju Samson and Steve Smith scoring an impressive 74 and 69 respectively and the big-tall Jofra Archer chipping in with a quickfire 27* off just eight deliveries.
Meanwhile the Kings XI Punjab made a superb comeback from their Super-Over-defeat against the Delhi Capitals in their first game, as they defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore comprehensively by 97 runs in their second match, riding on a majestic 132* from their skipper KL Rahul.
We look into some of the talking points ahead of the game, as Rajasthan and Punjab take on each other at Sharjah, with both the teams looking to continue their winning form.
Sharjah – the small ground
With both Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals crossing the 200-run-mark in their previous matches, we could be in for a batting treat tonight, as they fare off against each other at Sharjah, the smallest of the three venues. The last time the Rajasthan Royals played the Chennai Super Kings at this venue, over 400 runs were scored in the 40 overs with as many as 33 sixes in the match. With the kind of form the likes of Rahul and Samson are in, we could witness another high-scorer tonight.
The Kings XI Punjab have so far held back the mighty Chris Gayle, and fans around the world want to see him in action. So, will he be unleashed tonight at Sharjah. Although, no ground is too big for him, but in Sharjah with the even miss-hits getting carried over the ropes, the mighty Jamaican will be a force to content, and given the current form of Nicholas Pooran, we could very well be up for a Gayle-storm tonight.
Also Read: IPL 2020| KXIP vs RCB: A ‘KL-assic’ show
Return of Jos Buttler
The Rajasthan Royals will be boosted with the return of the in-form Jos Buttler to their playing XI. Buttler has been in some terrific form as he played a number of match winning knocks for England in the recent Tests and limited overs series against Pakistan and Australia. He missed out the season opener for the the Royals following an extended quarantine with his family. However, with Smith playing the anchor at the top they would want to give the young Yashasvi Jaiswal a few more opportunities so it would be interesting to see in which position the Royals use Buttler. With Rajasthan’s last match hero Sanju Samson likely to come at No. 3, we could see Buttler slotted at No. 4 and provide the middle order some solidarity.
Overall (19 matches – RR:10 | KXIP:9)
RR and KXIP have fared off against each other 19 times in the IPL so far and both the teams have pretty equal numbers with RR just ahead of KXIP having 10 wins out of the 19 played
Recent (Last 5 matches)
KXIP have a clear upper hand here in the recent head-to-head numbers, with four wins against RR in the previous five matches.
LAST 5 GAMES
KXIP won by 12 runs
KXIP won by 14 runs
RR won by 15 runs
KXIP won by 6 wickets
KXIP won the one-over eliminator
Milestones to lookout for
– Sanju Samson is 2 sixes away from 100 IPL sixes
– Sanju Samson is 62 runs away from 1000 IPL runs as wicketkeeper
– Karun Nair is 20 runs away from 1500 IPL runs
– Jos Buttler is 114 runs away from 1500 IPL runs
– Jos Buttler is 97 runs away from 6000 T20 runs
– KL Rahul is 95 runs away from 1500 IPL runs for KXIP
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Steven Smith (capt), 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Jos Buttler (wk), 5 Robin Uthappa, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 Shreyas Gopal, 8 Jofra Archer, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Rahul Tewatia, 11 Jaydev Unadkat
Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Karun Nair, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 Jimmy Neesham/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 M Ashwin
Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab
Venue – Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Toss – 7pm IST
Match Time – 7:30pm IST
Match can be viewed on the Star Sports Network and the Disney + Hotstar VIP subscription