Two teams made a comeback in IPL last year and but went on to do well in the tournament. Where one of them, Chennai Super Kings, won the title the other, Rajasthan Royals, secured a fourth-place finish in IPL 2018. Rajasthan had a great auction last year and bought some big names of T20 cricket. Which helped them to achieve success last year. This year, they will try to continue their momentum when they will take the field against Kings XI Punjab in their campaign opener in Jaipur. Have a look at what can be the team combination of both teams.
The Jaipur-based franchise has opted for Pink color as their theme and will adorn it throughout this season. Rajasthan will be boosted with Steve Smith’s return in the IPL this year after sitting out in the last IPL. Ajinkya Rahane will continue to lead the side and will open the batting along with Jos Buttler. Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi will bat in the middle-order.
Also Read: Who will be the X factor for RR in IPL 2019?
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer are likely to fill the other two foreign slots. K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal will be the two spinners in the team, who were the unsung hero for RR last year. Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni will hold the fast bowling forte together for Rajasthan this year and are likely to play in this game ahead of Varun Aaron.
Probable XI: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.
Kings XI Punjab
Punjab looks one of the threatening teams of Indian Premier League this year. They were on a roll last year during the first half of the tournament and won five matches out of first six and their place in the playoffs was almost confirmed. But in the other half, they lost seven of eight matches and crashed out from the tournament at seventh place.
In from Chris Gayle will open the batting along with KL Rahul while Karun Nair and Mandeep Singh will play in the middle-order. Captain Ravichandran Ashwin can opt for three spinners after having a closer look of Jaipur surface. Andrew Tye and Mohammed Shami will be the two pacers in the team. Either of Sam Curran or Moises Henriques slot in as the fourth overseas player.
Probable XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Prabhsimran Singh (WK), Sarfaraz Khan, Sam Curran/Moises Henriques, R Ashwin (C), Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.