Photo credit: BCCI/

It wasn’t the best of starts to the Indore leg of the tournament for Kings XI Punjab as they lost their first match at the venue this season to a spirited Mumbai Indians on Friday. Now, looking to make amends, they will host Rajasthan Royals who need some points of their own to venture higher up the standings table.

Aamne Saamne

Kings XI Punjab

Rajasthan Royals

6 wins

9 wins

Though RR leads the head-to-head race in this contest, KXIP has won 3 of the last 5 matches against this opposition. After a loss in the last two matches, KXIP will be hungry for a win to get back on track, and RR might end up as collateral damage, but the visitors have a point of their own to prove, making this a scrumptious matchup.

Batting de Baadshah

Chris Gayle for KXIP

Sanju Samson for RR

302 runs

282 runs

With 302 runs from just 5 matches, Universe Boss Chris Gayle has been the best player with the bat for KXIP. Though he has a massive strike rate of 154.08, it is still slow for his own standards, which can be explained through his more watchful style of play this year. Couple that together with a staggering average of 100.66, and it makes for some fearful stats for oppositions.

One of the many young Indian batsmen to impress this year, Sanju Samson has been in good touch for RR with the bat, walking in at No. 3. With a strike rate of 145.36, Samson has gotten his runs at a fair clip, and with proper cricketing shots too. If RR is to advance forward in the league, then Samson’s consistency will be crucial to their chances.

Bowling de Kings

Andrew Tye for KXIP

Jofra Archer for RR

10 wickets

7 wickets

In the absence of a proper death bowler apart from himself, Andrew Tye has often shouldered the entire responsibility for KXIP with those ingenious change-up deliveries. Hard to pick for top calibre batsmen as well, Tye has contributed to KXIP’s cause with returns of 10 wickets at an economy rate of 7.90 – incredible numbers for someone bowling at the death regularly.

Since his debut a few matches back, Jofra Archer has added another dimension to the RR bowling attack. Working up good pace north of 140 clicks consistently and with a knack of bowling some potent bouncers and yorkers, Archer has bagged 7 wickets in just 3 matches. Their next bowler in Unadkat has 7 wickets too, albeit in 8 matches, just proving how impressive Archer has been.

From the Lion’s Mouth

We haven’t been firing in the middle order, but we expect the players to do well in the coming games.” - Ravichandran Ashwin

Mudde ki Baat

With two matches against RR on the trot coming up, KXIP will be looking to get some winning momentum behind their backs, starting with the match in Indore. The top order and bowling has been good for KXIP so far, but by Ashwin’s own admission, the middle order has failed to fire so far, and the fielding has not been the best. They will have to be on the top of their game in all departments against a hurting RR side which is desperate for points.

RR is yet to settle on an opening pair consistently, which might be telling of the batting woes they are facing. Sanju Samson has been the only consistent batsman in the side, but a blitzkrieg by Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer’s lethal bowling would be heart-warming for them. The insipid form of Ben Stokes though, might be of concern with the all-rounder failing to impress with both bat and ball this season.

Yaad Rakhiyo

  • Of the players in the current squads, Ajinkya Rahane holds the highest individual score in this contest (98).
  • David Miller enjoys a strike rate of 163.37 and an average of 55 against RR.
  • Axar Patel has picked 7 wickets with an economy rate of just 6.67 against RR.
  • Sanju Samson has been the best fielder in this tie, with contributions in 8 dismissals

Who Could Play?

KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

KXIP’s woes in the previous game were not down to team selection, but rather the execution of plans, so don’t expect changes galore in the next match. Depending on conditions, the side might look to bring back another pacer in Mohit Sharma or Barinder Sran, and Manoj Tiwary offers another option as an all-rounder in the team.

NOTE: The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.