Strangely enough, the team that looked down and out viz Rajasthan Royals are beginning to win matches and Kings 11 Punjab is beginning to lose them. Cricket is a great leveler. This match will bring back the memories of the infamous Butler runout but these teams have recovered from the controversy and Kings 11 Punjab remains a strong candidate for a spot in the playoffs. The battle between Ashwin and Jos Butler is the one to watch out for in this match taking place to Mohali tomorrow.
Kings 11 Punjab Team Preparations
Kings 11 Punjab had the dubious distinction of becoming the first team to lose to RCB this year. As a result of the defeat they have dropped to a 5th spot in the points tally and unless they win this match they will drop further. The main problem for the Kings11 has been the lack of consistency in developing momentum for winning matches like CSK have done. But they have a great record at home and after having won 7 out of last 8 matches at home they will not be demoralized by the defeat against RCB. That match brought to the end a 7 match winning streak at home for Punjab. Injuries to key players have also plagued the K11P side affecting the stability of the team. They do appear very strong on paper though especially in the batting department. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle are one of the top opening pairs in IPL and are the key to their success. However, the remaining batting lineup with the exception of Mayan Agarwal hasn’t delivered. The bowling also goes astray when they are up against quality opposition. Despite all these negative aspects of their performance in IPL 2019, they are playing at home and are formidable opponents nevertheless.
Rajasthan Royals Team Preparations
This Saturday was a heyday for Rajasthan as they managed to pull one across the strong Mumbai Indians side. They have gathered their 2nd victory and still are in the 7th position in the points table. To make matters worse they have a poor net run rate which means that they have to win all their remaining matches to qualify for the knockout stage. The win against Mumbai came mainly through the heroics of Jos Butler and the innings fell apart again from 147 for 1 to 174 for 6 and it was Shreyas Gopal who sealed the victory for them in the last over of the match, They have got into a good position many times in the league only to see the advantage being slipped away due to the fragile middle order. They left out Ben Stokes for the last match and brought in Liam Livingstone but there was no change in the end result. They still look balanced on paper but many players are not performing brightly such as Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, and Sanju Samson and the overt dependence on Jos Butler is pretty apparent. Bowling is doing better though with Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal doing well in the last few matches.
The Ravi Ashwin vs. Jos Butler battle will be at the forefront of everyone’s eyes for this match. Butler is in terrific form and is pretty capable of taking Royals forward single-handedly. Despite the lack of substantial contributions from the middle order, there is no shortage of skill and experience in it. Kings 11, on the other hand, is dependent on the opening combination of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul but even then they will start as favorites to win this match in my opinion.
Kings 11 Punjab, Rajasthan Royals.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.
Timing: Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 8 PM IST, 2.30 PM GMT.
TV: Star Network.
Live Streaming: Hotstar.