Rajasthan Royals (RCB) versus Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) is a crucial match considering their table positions. Currently, KXIP is at 4th while RR is at number 7th position in the points table. If KXIP wins this game by a good margin they can replace RCB(2nd) or DC(3rd) in the table while if RR wins the game with a good margin they have a chance of replacing KKR(5th) in the points table.
Head to Head
Rajasthan Royals (RCB) have played Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Twenty times in the past.
When it comes to the matchup of these teams; RR has won eleven games and KXIP nine.
The crucial thing though, is that if we look at their last five encounters, KXIP has won three out of five games played.
In the first-leg, RR defeated KXIP by chasing a mammoth total of 223 at Sharjah.
Top performers of RR & KXIP in IPL 2020
J Archer: He by far has been the best player for RR this season. He has been exceptional with the ball throughout but also has played a few quickfire cameos with the bat. Overall, he has picked up 17 wickets at an average of 18.82, a strike rate of 16.82 and an excellent economy rate of 6.71.
S Samson: The hero in the first two games for his team had a string of failures following those innings. Fortunately for RR, he is back amongst the runs now. In the previous two matches, he has scored 36 against SRH and 54* against MI. Overall, he has scored 326 runs this season and is the top run-scorer for his team.
R Tewatia: He is one of the most underrated players of his team but his inclusion adds enormous value to the team. As a bowler, he has picked up 7 wickets but has a decent economy of 7.15 this season. As a batsman, he has gone bonkers in a few innings, he was the principal destructor of KXIP in the first leg match at Sharjah. It would be interesting to see if he can perform well on this ground as well.
KL Rahul: He has been phenomenal with the bat once again this year. He has been exceptional in IPL for the last three years, he has now scored 500+ runs in three back to back IPL seasons. Currently, he has scored 595 runs in 12 innings and is 124 runs clear to S Dhawan who is placed second in the ranking.
M Shami: He is the bowling spearhead of this team & he has proved his worth by picking up wickets in almost every match that he has bowled this year. Overall, he has picked up 20 wickets this year with a bowling strike rate of 14. He has never before picked up 20 wickets in IPL.
C Gayle: The Universe Boss is undefeated so far in this season, he has played 5 games and KXIP have won all these games. His inclusion in the side has made a big difference in the fortunes of KXIP. In five matches, he has scored 177 runs at an average of 35.40 and a strike rate of 138.28.
S Smith (RR): The former Australian captain is having his poorest season with the bat this year. His batting average of 25.09 is the worst when compared to his other 7 seasons in IPL. Now, in the business end of the season, he has to perform well.
B Stokes (RR): He played a stupendous inning of 106 against MI and remains the most sought after player in RR team.
M Agarwal (KXIP): He has had a very good season this year but he was sidelined due to injury in the previous match. If he can get back to the playing eleven he can be very dangerous along with KL Rahul at the top.
G Maxwell (KXIP): He is mainly in the team for his batting prowess but he has proved his worth as the bowler as well specifically in power play overs. It would be crucial to see where he bowls against the likes of Stokes/Smith/Uthappa in this match.
Likely Playing 11
Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Steve Smith(C), Sanju Samson (WK), Jos Buttler,...
R Parag, R Tewatia, J Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi & J Unadkat.
KL Rahul (C) (WK), M Agarwal, C Gayle, N Pooran, G Maxwell, M Singh, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, M Shami, M Ashwin & A Singh.
Both the teams must be high on confidence after winning their previous encounters against the table toppers, KXIP defeated RCB while RR defeated MI. KXIP can still afford to lose this match but for RR it could be as good as curtains if they lose the match. I would pick RR over KXIP in this match considering it is "do or die" situation for them.