Kings XI pose big challenge to Royals

Kings XI pose big challenge to Royals

Kings XI pose big challenge to Royals

Their campaigns off to a flier, both Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals would be hoping to outsmart each other when they clash in the seventh Indian Premier League, here on Sunday.

While Kings XI pulled off a sensational six-wicket win over the formidable Chennai Super Kings in a high-scoring match in Abu Dhabi on Friday, the Royals notched up a comfortable four-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad later in the day.

And on Sunday, both the teams would be aiming to carry on their winning momentum ahead in the tournament.

However, on paper, Kings XI will start favourites against the Royals.

Kings XI’s team composition underwent a substantial overhaul this year. Led by Australian George Bailey, the Punjab outfit pulled off quite a masterstroke by snapping up India Test discard Virender Sehwag. Even though he is no longer in his prime, on his day the Delhi-dasher is an enthralling game-changer capable of destroying opposition attacks.

In Cheteshwar Pujara, hard-hitting Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and Bailey, Kings XI boast a formidable batting line-up, the effect of which was visible against Super Kings.
Chasing a mammoth 206-run target, Kings XI rode on a blazing 115-run stand between Miller and Maxwell to steal a scintillating win over Super Kings.

Maxwell hammered 95 off 43 balls while Miller made an unbeaten 54 off 37 to propel their team past Super Kings’ imposing 205 for four with seven balls to spare.

However, bowling would be a cause of concern for Kings XI going into their next game.
But Bailey would be hoping for a much-improved show from the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Lakshmipathi Balaji, Rishi Dhawan and Parvinder Awana.

The Royals, on the other hand, were clinical in their bowling performance against the Sunrisers.

Dhawal Kulkarni (2/23), Kane Richardson (2/25), Rajat Bhatia (2/22) and Pravin Tambe (0/23) bowled economical spells to restrict the Sunrisers to 133 for six.

On the batting front, however, the Royals have some work to do as only two of their batsmen — Ajinkya Rahane (59) and Stuart Binny (48 not out) managed double digit scores from the top order while chasing the modest score. The Royals’ batting department would be looking for inspiration from the legendary Rahul Dravid, who is donning the hat of a mentor this time around.

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