|This is Santadeep Dey bringing you LIVE commentary of IPL 2020: KXIP vs RR in Abu Dhabi.|
MATCH PREVIEW BY P. K. AJITH KUMAR
This is a tough week for the players at the Indian Premier League 2020. The race for the playoffs is hotting up and out of the eight teams, only one is out of contention.
Rajasthan Royals will be desperate to win against Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Kings XI, placed fourth with 12 points, will be keen on maintaining the winning streak. On 10 points currently, if Royals lose the rubber they will be out of the playoffs race.
Steve Smith’s men must be hoping their strength – batting – fires once again at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Pace spearhead Jofra Archer, who has been firing with the new ball and choking the opposition at death, will need support from the other bowlers.
Though the leg-spinning duo of Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia and young seamer Kartik Tyagi have done reasonably well, they have not been consistent. The third seamer – be it Jaydev Unadkat or Ankit Rajpoot – has disappointed even more. It’s a mystery why the team management isn’t considering Varun Aaron. He is genuinely quick and is a seasoned campaigner.
IPL 2020: What the teams are playing for – BCCI/IPL
After the poor show by the bowlers, it was the batsmen that gave Royals the badly-needed victory against Mumbai Indians last Sunday. The services of Jos Buttler, the team’s most accomplished batsman against the white ball, was not even required, as Ben Stokes, opening the innings, and Sanju Samson, put on 152 for the unbroken third-wicket off just 82 balls.
Kings XI is extremely strong in the batting department, too. Captain K.L. Rahul is leading the table with 595 runs. His opening partner Mayank Agarwal is seventh on the list with 398, though he didn’t play the last two matches, owing to injury. Mandeep Singh stepped into Mayank’s role with ease and made an unbeaten 66 to help the side beat Kolkata Knight Riders.
The bowling has looked increasingly sharper, with India pacer Mohammed Shami looking in fabulous form and the young left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh making rapid strides. Leg-spinners Ravi Bishnoi and M. Ashwin have played their parts too.
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The two teams have faced each other 20 times in the IPL so far, and Rajasthan holds a 11-9 head-to-head win-loss record over Punjab.
KXIP (223/2 in 20 overs) lost to RR (226/6 in 19.3 overs) by 6 wickets
Earlier in IPL 2020, RR beat KXIP by four wickets in the United Arab Emirates on the back of Sanju Samson’s 42-ball 85 and half-centuries from Rahul Tewatia and Steve Smith. Kings XI opener Mayank Agarwal had scored 106 off 50 balls in Sharjah back then, while Mohammed Shami took a three-wicket haul against the Royals.
Position on the Points Table
Punjab currently occupies the fourth position in the 2020 IPL points table with 12 points from 12 outings, which include six wins and six losses. Meanwhile, Rajasthan is placed seventh in the standings with ten points, having won five games and lost seven.
IPL 2020 Form Guide
KXIP has five wins from its last five matches
RR has two victories from its last five games
Overall, the Royals have won the IPL trophy once during the inaugural season and made the playoffs in three other seasons. Meanwhile, Kings XI have reached only one summit clash in 2014 and qualified for the playoffs just one other instance in 2008.
THE BEST PERFORMERS THIS SEASON (FROM KXIP and RR)
1) K. L. Rahul (KXIP) – 595
2) Mayank Agarwal (KXIP) – 398
4) Sanju Samson (RR) – 326
5) Steve Smith (RR) – 276
1) Mohammed Shami (KXIP) – 20
2) Jofra Archer (RR) – 17
3) Ravi Bishnoi (KXIP) – 12
4) Shreyas Gopal (RR) – 9
5) Murugan Ashwin (KXIP) – 9
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KXIP: KL Rahul (c/w), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Jordan, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Shami
RR: Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith (c), Sanju Samson (w), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
TOP FIVE PLAYERS WITH MOST POINTS IN FANTASY SQUADS
1. Jofra Archer (RR) – 266.5 points
2. KL Rahul (KXIP) – 222.5 points
3. Rahul Tewatia (RR) – 203.5 points
4. Mohammad Shami (KXIP) – 197 points
5. Mayank Agarwal (KXIP) – 165 points
LISTEN IN | In E07 of this IPL special podcast, Shayan Acharya, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya and Vijay Lokapally discuss the biggest talking points surrounding the Indian squads that will tour Australia later this year, a tight competition for the top four and what Chennai Super Kings’ exit from the IPL this season means for the side.
Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith (c), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Jofra Archer, Ankit Rajpoot, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Mayank Markande, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye, Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran, Anuj Rawat
Kings XI Punjab: K. L. Rahul (c), Glenn Maxwell, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M. Ashwin, J. Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh
IPL Points Table
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||12||7||5||14||+0.048|
|Kings XI Punjab||12||6||6||12||-0.049|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||13||6||7||12||-0.467|
|Chennai Super Kings||13||5||8||10||-0.532|
WHERE TO WATCH IPL 2020 – KINGS XI PUNJAB VS RAJASTHAN ROYALS LIVE?
The Indian Premier League match Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network. Live streaming will also be available on the Hotstar app or website exclusively for VIP and Premium users.