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|Jofra Chioke Archer||2||2||0||0||100.00|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||31||2||7.75|
|Jofra Chioke Archer||4.0||0||17||0||4.25|
The Rajasthan Royals will start their IPL 2019 campaign against the Kings Xi Punjab side at their home ground, the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. Neither of the two sides had a season to remember last year. The Rajasthan Royals made the playoffs in IPL 2018 but lost the eliminator to the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Kings XI Punjab did not even come that close and finished 7th out of 8 teams. This is also the reason why the Kings XI side has chosen to recast its side majorly and attack the Indian Premier League with some new blood.
The Rajasthan Royals have developed a reputation for being one of the more canny sides in the IPL. They take players that are often overlooked by the bigger franchises and combine them to make a side that punches above its weight. A couple of very expensive buys in IPL 2018 did not quite go their way and the Rajasthan Royals would be desperate to get back to their best in IPL 2019.
If there was one IPL side that would have been jumping with joy as Australia pulled off a record run-chase against India in the fourth ODI, then it was the Rajasthan Royals. They picked up Ashton Turner for a relatively small price and saw him smash a full-strength Indian bowling attack to all corners of the ground.
These are the sort of purchases that have formed the bases of Rajasthan Royals success in the IPL in previous years.
The overseas players available for the Rajasthan Royals are very exciting. They have Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Ashton Turner, and Steve Smith in the squad to choose from. Picking just four out of this lot is going to be a tough ask.
They have also added Liam Livingstone and Oshane Thomas to the squad although they are probably going to be used to cover any players that may end up leaving IPL 2019 early because of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The real issue with the Rajasthan Royals is going to be its Indian contingent. Ajinkya Rahane has a lot to prove since his returns have been diminishing rapidly. He has not been at his best in the last couple of IPL seasons and faces a challenge from youngsters in all formats of the game now.
Similarly, other Indian players like Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Jayadev Unadkat, and K Gowtham have not really continued on a path of improvement in their careers. Maybe Sanju Samson is the only one out of this crop that can be counted as a potential international Indian cricketer in the future.
It looks like the bulk of the heavy lifting will have to be done by the foreign players in the side. Rajasthan Royals are a dangerous side to bank upon until the current form of their Indian players can be assessed.
Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Steven Smith, SV Samson, BA Stokes, RA Tripathi, K Gowtham, S Gopal, Jofra Chioke Archer, JD Unadkat, DS Kulkarni.
Did Kings XI Punjab win the lottery when they picked up Chris Gayle at his base price at the very end of the auction? Gayle had been passed on by all the IPL sides two times before receiving a bid at the very lasts second. Since then, Chris Gayle has been setting the international stage on fire and showed the world that there is still some gas left in the tank.
Kings XI Punjab has chosen to go with an entirely new squad for IPL 2019 with just a few names being carried over from last season. They have also appointed Mike Hesson as the coach, an excellent move in our opinion.
Hesson and Ashwin are two excellent thinkers of the game and should enjoy tinkering with the talent at the side’s disposal.
KL Rahul, David Miller, Nicholas Pooran, Mayank Aggarwal, and Karun Nair form a pretty strong batting lineup. There are also some exciting young players like Prabhsimran Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, and Varun Chakravarthy to watch out for.
Andrew Tye and Mujeeb ur Rahman did very well for the Kings XI in IPL 2018 and are both present for IPL 2019n as well.
Kings XI did a good job by buying players like Hardus Viljoen, Moises Henriques, and Sam Curran to add to their squad but we are not sure how they are going to fit them all in. Its good having a good set of foreign players but eventually, you can only play four in the side.
The Indian players will have to be at their best for Kings XI to do well, a very similar problem to what the Rajasthan Royals are facing.
Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, M Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, AS Rajpoot.
The side winning the toss is going to want to field first
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The IPL 2019 match between the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab is going to be played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. A hot day with very little chance of rain has been forecast for match day so we should have a full day of cricket without any interruptions.
The pitch in Jaipur is an excellent one for batting. The ball comes on nicely to the bat and there is nothing in it for the fast bowlers. The spinners may be able to extract some help but nothing significant.
A high scoring match looks likely with the quality of batsmen on both sides.
Making the Dream 11 picks for the Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab is quite interesting. Ravi Ashwin is known to be quite inventive with his selection decisions and so checking in after the teams have been announced is recommended. Rajasthan Royals should be a bit more straightforward in that regard.
Wicketkeeper: This is a difficult decision first up. Dream 11 only allows you to choose one wicket-keeper and so only one of Jis Buttler or KL Rahul can make the team. Jos Buttler is one of the most dangerous T20 players on earth and is particularly effective while opening the batting. He also has an excellent record for the Rajasthan Royals.
He is, however, playing in foreign conditions.
KL Rahul also bats at the top of the order and was phenomenal last season. His form has dipped a bit in international cricket but he could very easily turn that around in the IPL.
We think Jos Buttler is the way to go for the opening match.
Batsmen: We are looking past players like Ajinkya Rahane, Chris Gayle, and Ashton Turner for this match. David Miller is not certain to play yet and so we have not included him either. Our picks are Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Mayank Aggarwal, and Nicolas Pooran as the four batsmen for the Dream 11 combination.
Steve Smith is fit and has not played a lot of cricket recently. There is a good chance that people may not immediately go for him in large numbers and it could be a big advantage if he plays well. Sanju Samson is a very good IPL player who could very well keep the wickets as well. Choosing him is an easy decision.
Mayank Aggarwal is one of the best rising players in the country while Nicolas Pooran is our early pick to hit the most sixes in this IPL season. Both of them could be valuable additions.
All-rounders: Ben Stokes is certain to play and must be picked if he is in the side. He scores runs and almost always bowls his full quota of overs. Our other pick is a bit risky. Sam Curran was a million dollar pick but may not immediately warrant a place in the playing eleven. Check his inclusion out after the toss for sure.
Bowlers: Jofra Archer, Mohammad Shami, Shreyas Gopal, and Varun Chakravarthy are our four bowlers for the match. Varun Chakravarthy is a mystery bowler that can bat a bit. Such bowlers are most effective at the beginning of the tournament so we don’t mind taking a punt on him now.
We are backing the home side to start with a win against the star-studded Kings XI Punjab. We just think that the Rajasthan Royals are playing at home and a have a fair idea of who their starting eleven is going to be. They also have some terrific T20 stars to lead them. The Kings XI Punjab side, on the other hand, will take some time to find its best combination.
Back the Rajasthan Royals to win
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