Struggling Kings XI face unbeaten Royals in IPL

” Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (captain), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu, Stuart Binny, Vikramjeet Malik, Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Steven Smith, Tim Southee, Chris Morris, Juan Theron.”
Ahmedabad, April 20 (IANS):  With just one win under their belt from four matches, a struggling Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) side will seek a much-needed victory when they face-off against an unbeaten Rajasthan Royals (RR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Sardar Patel Stadium here on Tuesday.

The Royals have won all their five matches played so far to claim the top spot in the standings having successfully beaten all challengers that have come their way.

Their eight-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings on Sunday showed how confident the team was in its abilities.

The team welcomed back skipper Shane Watson into the team against CSK and he responded with a superb 73-run knock to put on a 144-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (76) to seal a comprehensive eight-wicket victory.

It was Royals’ fourth win while chasing that shows the team’s formidable batting strength.

Rahane is the current leading run-scorer in the tournament with 231 runs and Royals will hope the India batsman continues the good form.

Besides the batting, Royals’ bowling has also been a talking point with 43-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe shining brightly. He has claimed five wickets at a healthy economy rate of 6.76.

All-rounders Stuart Binny, Shane Watson and James Faulkner, besides pacer Chris Morris, have also been economical in the previous matches.

On the other hand, Kings XI, led by Aussie George Bailey, have to put up a decent show with the bat.

Punjab’s bowling, spearheaded by Mitchell Johnson, has put up a reasonable effort but it is their batting that has let them down.

The team is loaded with Twenty20 specialists but they are yet to fire.

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell is yet to take centre-stage and attention will be on his performance against Royals.

The squads:

Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (captain), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu, Stuart Binny, Vikramjeet Malik, Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Steven Smith, Tim Southee, Chris Morris, Juan Theron.

Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey (captain), Virender Sehwag, Murali Vijay, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Mitchell Johnson, Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Karanveer Singh, Manan Vohra, Thisara Perera, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Beuran Hendricks, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shardul Thakur, Shaun Marsh, Shivam Sharma, Nikhil Naik, Yogesh Golwalkar.