Date & Time – Monday, March 25th; 08:00pm IST
Venue – Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Rajasthan Royals in their Pink City will don pink jerseys to host the Kings from Punjab for their season opener. In the previous edition of the IPL, RR peaked at the end of the season while KXIP peaked only during the first half. Hence, both the teams will look to maintain their consistency throughout the season.
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium with its big outfields and good wicket has provided that much needed balance between the bat and the ball. The average first innings score during last IPL was around 162 and teams have successfully defended scores in the range of 150 to 160.
We all witnessed what Jos Buttler is capable of when asked to open the batting in T20 format. He was simply unstoppable for RR during the 2nd half of the last season but his unavailability cost them dearly in play offs and we are afraid that it might be the case this year too. He has scored 246 runs at an average of 61.5 at this venue and he has always found a liking to the KXIP attack, scoring 243 runs in 5 matches at an average of 48.6
The Universe Boss is back in IPL and who would dare keep him out of their dream team, especially after breaking so many records in the recent ODI series against England. His recent showing in the Carribean is such a big boost for KXIP and once he gets going, so much time would be spent in replacing balls that he has hit outside of the stadium.
This inclusion may raise some eyebrows but Ajinkya Rahane is likely to play the role of an anchor, which means he will play longer innings and that certainly will fetch up good points. Yes, he is not a power hitter like the other 2 players mentioned above, but guarantees some valuable points.
This extremely talented mystery spinner has recently made heads turn over his performances in Tamil Nadu Premier League, followed up with a stunning Vijay Hazare campaign where he was the 2nd leading wicket taker with 22 wickets in 9 matches. He has as many as 8 variations and could well be the ‘find of the season’ for KXIP. But because of an injury he’s carrying, his participation in this match is uncertain.
Krishnappa Gowtham, the all-rounder from Karnataka showed a well balanced temperament, whether it was when he was bowling in powerplay overs or when his team needed some big hits at the end. He has better PPM (23) than most of his team mates including Jofra Archer.
KL Rahul has been in phenomenal form in T20 cricket for the past 2 to 3 years. He has the third best average (43.95) for any T20I cricketer (min. 20 matches). He finished as the third leading run scorer in the previous season of the IPL with 659 runs which included a fighting 95* against RR at the same venue but unfortunately he was in the losing side. It is an extremely tough situation to leave him out, but Jos Butler’s numbers at this venue and against KXIP is the reason for it.
Ankit Rajpoot has picked up 14 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 9.86. Unfortunately, he finds himself in this list because he is a debatable starter for this match. But if he starts, make sure he is in your dream team instead of Mohammad Shami.
Nicholas Pooran can well be the perfect finisher that KXIP needs, this season. However, as this is the first game of the season for KXIP, we don’t know if he will get a spot in the playing XI. So, we have left him out of our team as well.
That’s it for this match from all of us at FanDuniya. We hope you find these articles useful. Please let us know in the app (via the chat interface) about what you think.