IPL: RR aim to return to winning ways against inconsistent Punjab
Rajasthan Royals will look to sort out their batting woes and bring their campaign back on track, while an inconsistent Punjab Kings will be eager to keep the winning momentum going in their IPL game here on Saturday.
The Royals were at one point giving Gujarat Titans a strong fight for the top position but the former champions have recently faced minor hiccups. They enter the upcoming fixture with back-to-back losses including eighth-place Kolkata Knight Riders and laggards Mumbai Indians.
Punjab Kings, on the other hand, will be high on confidence after inflicting a morale-boosting eight-wicket defeat on table-toppers GT. The Mayank Agarwal-led side will be eager to keep the winning momentum going as they try to get out of the mid-table logjam an inch closer to sealing a playoff spot.
Rajasthan is third on the points table, and it is mostly because of the flamboyant Jos Buttler. The Englishman is currently the league's leading scorer with 588 runs. Against Mumbai, he waged a lone battle with the bat while he failed to capitalize on his start against KKR. Rajasthan lost both games.
The two other men at the top -- skipper Sanju Samson and Devdutt Padikkal -- have been good in patches and need to shoulder more responsibility, especially with the team shuffling the number four spot. If they get going alongside the big-hitting Shimron Hetymar, the trio can tear apart any bowling attack.
The inaugural edition winners also need to step up their game while batting first, three of Rajasthan's four losses have come while setting a total.
The Royals have one of the best, if not the best, bowling attacks this season but the bowlers failed to defend 158 and 152 in their previous two games. They have the chops to defend below-par totals. Yuzvendra Chahal leads the bowling charts this season with 19 wickets, while the likes of Trent Boult, Kuldeep Sen, and Prasidh Krishna have also done well.
It will therefore be a tall task for the Punjab batters to tackle Royal's bowling.
The Punjab batting unit has been plagued by inconsistencies. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, who has been the side's best batter, Liam Livingstone and Bhanuka Rajapaksa can tonk the ball, but they need to fire in unison to build or defend a huge total.
Jonny Bairstow has failed to play the explosive innings he is known for, while skipper Mayank Agarwal has also looked off-color and will be eager to be back among runs.
The bowling attack was right on the money in the win against the Titans, restricting them to below 150.
Punjab has a strong and varied bowling attack. Arshadeep Singh has also been brilliant this season, and although the 23-year-old hasn't picked too many wickets, he has bowled economically.
Teams (from): Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Shahrukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell.
Rajasthan Royals squad for 2022 IPL: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, KC Cariappa, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy, Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen, Karun Nair, Dhruv Jurel, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Shubham Garhwal, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen, Daryl Mitchell.
The match starts at 3.30 IST.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)