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|Jofra Chioke Archer||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||21||2||5.25|
|Jofra Chioke Archer||4.0||0||32||1||8.00|
It wasn't a bright start for KXIP after a six-days long break as they lost to Mumbai Indians in a crunch game. Rajasthan Royals' performance has gone from bad from worse since the beginning of the IPL. In the last game between the two sides which was just a couple of days earlier, Kings XI Punjab thumped the Royals to come back to the winning ways. We now move to Jaipur as the two teams once again take on each other on 8th May 2018.
On a ground with small-boundaries and an overwhelming stat against the teams batting first, that is - 0 wins from 7 games, the toss was of utmost importance unluckily Rajasthan ended up on the wrong side of the coin-toss.
With the top-order consisting of batsmen who all enjoy the pace on the bat, Ravichandran Ashwin bowled five of the powerplay overs with spinners which turned out to be an ace of a decision. Although Buttler played a good innings of 51, it wasn't as convincing as the innings he played a couple of days ago.
Rajasthan needed Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes to take them to a total over 170, which was a par score on small Indore ground, but they were dismissed quickly and even the total of 150 was looking remote. End of the innings fireworks by Shreyas Gopal took the score to 152 runs which proved to be a fighting total at best.
Rajasthan Royals' overseas players have failed to contribute and that has been the prime reason for their downfall this season. Ben Stokes has bowled with an economy rate of over nine and has looked out of sorts while batting. We won't be surprised to see some dramatic changes lineup as the Royals are already knocked out of the competition. With nothing to lose situation, this Rajasthan Royals may just put up their best performance of the season.
Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, SV Samson, BA Stokes, Mahipal Lomror, STR Binny, Jofra Chioke Archer, K Gowtham, IS Sodhi, JD Unadkat, Anureet Singh.
Chasing 154 was never going to be a challenging total against such a heavy Kings XI Punjab batting lineup but Gayle's failure and dodgy middle order laid the foundation for a thrilling contest. Kings XI Punjab were once against found in a familiar territory in their previous match against Rajasthan Royals. One of their openers, Chris Gayle, was dismissed quickly and their middle order followed soon thereafter. Mayank Agarwal once again failed to capitalize on the opportunity to bat at number three. A quick 31 by Karun Nair, anchored by KL Rahul who eventually scored a match-winning 84, helped Kings XI Punjab to bounce back into the match.
Surprisingly, it was a match where Punjab's bowling was responsible for the state they were in. With no experienced seamer at their disposal except Andrew Tye, Punjab's bowling always looked a little thin as compared to their batting, but the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ankit Rajpoot have all contributed brilliantly to add to the balance of the side.
Despite being in a strong position as of now, KXIP have had a portion of troubles for them. The poor performance of their middle-order catalyzed by some mediocre performances by Yuvraj Singh have often pushed them into a spot of bother. The inclusion of Marcus Stoinis for Aaron Finch has been a welcome change for them, but the performances from their other batsmen have been subpar so far.
Axar Patel's role is in the team is still uncertain and we may see him demoted in the next as far as the position in the batting order is concerned. Kings XI Punjab would be delighted to win their previous game despite a rare Chris Gayle failure and if their middle order can contribute with some match-winning performances, Kings XI Punjab could be the team to beat of the tournament.
Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Akshdeep Nath, Karun Nair, Marcus Stoinis, MK Tiwary, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, AJ Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujib Ur Rahman.
As has been the trend in the season so far, expect the team winning the toss to field first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Unlike the last time, Jaipur's pitch isn't as quick as it used to be. While it still favors the batsmen, any totals of over 180 will be difficult to chase. Having said that, chasing has been the way to go in the tournament, and that isn't expected to change even on the surface of Jaipur.
Both Ravi Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane were entrusted to lead the side just before the beginning of the season. While Ashwin has impressed with his unpredictability, Rahane has merely been a shadow of himself. Momentum is a key thing in T20 cricket and with Kings XI Punjab already amongst the wins, we expect the Kings to thump Royals yet again.
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