Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2013, Jaipur April 13, 2013

Rajasthan face Kings XI pace challenge


Match facts

Sunday, April 14, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

With fitness concerns to key players and a controversy dredged up from the past, Rajasthan Royals have a lot on their plate as they take on Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. Both teams were beaten convincingly in their last game and while they may seem evenly matched, Kings XI hold a slender advantage over Royals.

If their dismal bowling against Pune Warriors is anything to go by, Royals missed Rahul Shukla and Shaun Tait and, on a home track that had pace and carry in its first game, the absence will be more acute. James Faulkner bowled well against Warriors but it is Sreesanth's inconsistency that will worry Royals. Moreover, the fast-paced wicket in Jaipur will favour the Kings XI bowlers, with their line-up of Praveen Kumar, Ryan Harris, Azhar Mahmood and Parvinder Awana. They stifled Warriors in the first game and on a responsive pitch, with their varying styles, can be an effective attack.

Their collapse in the last game aside, Royals have a relatively settled look to their batting line-up. Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane, Brad Hodge and Stuart Binny have been among the runs, making up for the absence of a big-hitter. Their most significant weaknesses are the opening combination - in three games, their highest opening stand is 22, between Rahane and Kusal Perera - and the tendency to lose wickets in clusters towards the end, as was evident against Warriors. With two important bowlers missing from their ranks and Shane Watson injured - though Owais Shah said on the eve of the game that they should have a fully-fit squad to pick from come match day* - they will need to post a substantial total to challenge the Kings XI batsmen Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey, Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra.

Players to watch

With of string of scores in the 30s, Ajinkya Rahane seems to have found his groove in IPL 2013. He's been losing his wicket after getting a start and against an opposition that has a challenging pace attack, the Royals will bank on Rahane to play a big innings.

In spite of a career riddled with injuries, there are few who doubt Ryan Harris's skill or commitment to the game. He took 19 wickets in three first-class matches for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield this year and with a pace that skids on to the batsman, he can be a handful for the Royals' batsman.

Stats and trivia

  • Praveen Kumar shares the record for the most number of maiden overs bowled in the IPL (9)
  • Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals have beaten by 10 wickets twice in the IPL.
  • Siddarth Trivedi is the most successful bowler for Rajasthan Royals against Kings XI Punjab with nine wickets in seven matches.


"Shane Watson was not fit in the last match but at the moment, as far as we have been told, everyone is fit to play. And the coaches and captain will pick [the XI] from a fit squad."
Owais Shah says Royals have moved on from their injury concerns

"We have a lot of youngsters and will take time to settle down in the tournament."
Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist on his team's lack of experience after the loss to Chennai Super Kings

*06.30GMT, April 14: The preview has been updated after pre-match press conference quotes arrived

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 14, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Kings XI should win this match... and they can do this happen only when Some overseas player like Gilchrist, hussey, or azhar mahmood will play extra ordinary inns, Gilly Should consider azhar mahmood on number 3 and hussey on 5, with amking sandwich of Mann vohra between two tremendous experience T20 Player azhar and Hussey.....If they score more than 150 then definitely they have chance to win this match... Otherwise it will be quite difficult.... on the other side inclusion of Shane watson bolster the RR... I am with Kings XI and my good wishes are with Gilly nd his team

  • alvinjjacob on April 14, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    RR need more consistency in middle order. Give chance payers like Sachin, Sanju. They are attacking batsmen as well as more consistent Indian Players after Dravid & Rahane in the squad. You can find it from their domestic ODIs & T20 this season for Kerala

  • 30-30-150 on April 14, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    I hope they drop this Kulash Perera guy. Dravid and Rahane should open and Watson at 3.

  • cricketanand12 on April 14, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    Best of lucks to both these teams.Fingers crossed. Both the teams have several match winners.But today I would like to see some new faces and few changes in the teams to make the match contesting. My XI for RR: Dravid,Rahane,Binny,Baby,Samson,Hodge,Faulkner,Cooper,Malik,Edwards,Rahul Shukla or Sreesanth or Chandila. My XI for Kxip:Mandeep,gilchrist,Valthaty,Vohra,Hussey,Mahmood,Gurkeerat mann,Gony,Praveen,Harris,Awana. I don't think any spinner is needed.Even Narine didn't perform well on that track. I would like to see 42 year old Pravin Tambe.He must has some talent that is why he was signed by RRs.

  • ipl2sux on April 14, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    @sandeep cant play 5 overseas.unless watto bowls rr will have weak batting/bowling combination

  • dummy4fb on April 14, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    I think RR should try Sachin Baby and Sanju Vishwanath in their XI for today's match. Sachin is a very exciting player and he will keep the score board ticking, and he is supposed to to be one of the finest fielders in the country. As far as Sanju is concerned, he is a young prospect and he has got all the strokes in the book. Moreover, Sanju can also keep wickets decently. So, I think they should replace STR Binny, and Yagnik in today's match. So, why don't RR give it a try instead of going in with the same old team always.

  • class9ryan on April 14, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Both these teams do not have huge reputed names in the sides but both of them are quite well balanced. We will have to look out for the Aussie factor in both the teams tonight - David Hussey, Ryan CJ Harris for the kings and Brad Hodge, James Faulkner for the Royals ... good contest on our cards

  • Sapphire.Indranil on April 14, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Really missing S Marsh in the KXIP batting lineup... Any news when he'll come?

  • dummy4fb on April 14, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    RR is awesome....M a big fan of Dravid n Rajasthan...plz have a look to playing XI for the day...1Rahane 2Hodge 3Dravid 4Watson 5Binny 6Faulkner 7Yagnik 8Cooper 9Shukla 10Tait 11Trivedi......in this we get 3bowlers+ 2allrounders (Faul/ cooper)+ 2part-timers (watto/ binny)...n batting extends till 8.

  • dummy4fb on April 14, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    my heart has always been with RR...but they have to keep things straight.Dravid and Rahane have to keep scoring rate higher rather than surviving meekly with strike rate of 110 to give batsmen like hodge and binny an opportunity to blow away.One more thing , keep this Sreesanth out of playing 11...he has more issues to deal with outside the field.Hope Watson and Tait play today.Rahul Shukla has surprised .It will b a good contest if Watson.Tait ,Badree and Shukla r in the playing 11 else Kings XI looks better team than RR

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