MatchDay 3 : RR Vs KXIP Preview
Day 3 Of the IPL and a North Indian Derby is out for the viewers to enjoy. This match boasts of the biggest hitters of the IPL playing in the Pink City of Jaipur. Both teams changed their core in the last Year’s auction completely and despite both starting well, lost their way midway through the tournament. KXIP racked in KL Rahul and the Universe Boss for their opening start and despite Gayle not fitting in their 11 for the starting few games, showed the world why he is called the Universe Boss when he got the chance against the CSK. He tonked the ball like the Gayle of RCB and with his current form, expect something similar from the big man. The emergence of KL Rahul was courtesy the IPL 2018 and apart from these two the batting didn’t really click. Aaron finch had multiple ducks and Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal had some good days but didn’t have a consistent, reliable run that probably dented their hopes. What set them apart was how the unorthodox captaincy of Ashwin led the bowling unit and how Mujeeb really blossomed with the great way he was used. Ankit Rajpoot was one of the bowlers who took a fifer on his IPL Debut. What led to them not qualifying after winning 6 of the first 7 games was the inability to cash in big moments in the second half of the game which became evident when they succumbed to meagre 58 against the sharp Umesh Yadav and Chahal on the smallest ground in the country. Rajasthan, on the other hand started the season with the expensive buys of Unadkat and Ben Stokes but couldn’t really get going until Jos Buttler on continued requests of the famous English veterans was sent up the order. He bossed the season from there and for their bowling Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham picked the pace in the latter half of the tournament. The rise of Gowtham saw Bumrah being smashed for 20 in the last over, Shreyas Gopal and Ish sodhi combining to send RCB packing in a Do or Die clash but Royals were sent packing on accounts of their Net Run Rate. However to change that outcome RR would expect Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathi to play like is expected of them to pull off a win and bear chances of going far in the tournament. What really makes RR a team to look forward is how Steve Smith goes about it after an Year away at International with chances of him making the Oz squad for the world vanishing with Finch, Khwaja and Marsh finding their fluent best against the unbreachable Pakistan in the UAE. The problem for Smith is though, he has very less time and a lot to do but there is no doubt of his capability. He will be one of the most anticipated comebacks of the IPL and RR will hope he makes it grand.
It is difficult to pick the winner of this game as both the teams are almost comparable on paper and have had a record of unpredictable, unreliant run over the last season. On Paper though, KXIP start this game as overwhelming favourites and for RR to stage a turnaround would require their batting to pound the decent bowling attack of KXIP. However, Jaipur was almost a fortress for the RR and a victory for them too is not out of sights.
What to expect : A pleasant weather for the night game in Jaipur and belter known to give bowlers a nightmare is likely to unravel. Longish square boundaries can really bring the Leggies and Mystery spinner into play.
Expected Playing 11
KXIP : Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal , Karun Nair,Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Tye/Pooran, R. Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Mohammed Shami
RR : Jos Butler, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, K. Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
Dream 11 Team (Safe for Big leagues)