Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014, Sharjah April 19, 2014

Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams


Match facts

Sunday, April 20, 2014
Start time 1830 (1430 GMT, 2000 IST)

Play 05:36
Watson needs to open for Royals

Big Picture

On Friday these two teams, built largely around Australians, played their first matches on the same pitch against different opponents. Kings XI Punjab were profligate with the ball, relying mainly on Mitchell Johnson who didn't come off on the day, but still chased 200-plus comfortably thanks to a powerful batting line-up that includes Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and George Bailey, and Virender Sehwag who, despite poor form, can't be ruled out against the lower standard of bowling and fielding in the IPL.

Rajasthan Royals, later in the day, on the same surface but under lights, turned their match into a scrappy affair, and huffed and puffed through in a chase of 134. This will be a clash of philosophies that have been successful in their individual ways in their first matches. Kings XI have gone the specialists way and are batting-heavy, Royals have a fair sprinkling of bits-and-pieces allrounders and are bowling-heavy. Kings XI will be thinking if only they can get their bowling in place, they can be a strong force this season. Royals will be looking at their batting with a similar emotion.

Watch out for ...

Glenn Maxwell's audacious hitting as both right- and left-hand batsman is sure to become a headache for fielding captains. In his 95 off 43 balls against Chennai Super Kings, he switch-hit and reverse-swept with such precision he almost eliminated risk, and opened up areas of the field that aren't conventionally available. Will the four Australian team-mates present in the Royals be able to come up with a plan to rein him in?

Royals had three bits-and-pieces allrounders in their starting XI in the first game. Rajat Bhatia, Stuart Binny and Abhishek Nayar are three of the most valuable cricketers in Indian domestic cricket, but they are essentially varying degrees of the same player: steady medium-pacers who won't find a place as batsmen alone. How long will this combination continue?

Stats and trivia

  • Maxwell's strike rate in chases of 180 or more is 172
  • Mitchell Johnson's figures of 4-0-47-0 on Friday were his second-worst in T20 cricket
  • James Faulkner has faced 36 balls in last overs of T20 cricket, and has scored 58 runs off them
  • Brad Hodge needs 15 runs to become the first man to the 6000-run mark in T20 cricket


"We have to lift the bowling and fielding a little bit as we know this is not going to happen every day. If it happens like this every time, then we are happy, but we have to improve on our bowling."
George Bailey knows 200 cannot be chased down every day

"Me and Binny enjoy each other's company very well and it helped us in the middle today. He has improved a lot. I backed my instincts. I decided to take one ball at a time."
Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny seem to have developed a friendship while carrying drinks during India's limited-overs tours of late

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Altaf on April 20, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Punjab seems to be exciting and strong team this season. 3 inform, class batsmen, Maxwell, Miller, and Bailey! Dominant start against strongest IPL team ever, CSK proves their merit. Sure they will atleast reach the final.

  • Pardeep on April 20, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    I have been big fan of RR in every edition of ipl. But i know this time RR is looking very weak but still i m supporting them. I hope it would be very tough for RR to beat mighty Pun. I think if they dose not win but definitly will give storng contest to punjab. Bes of luck RR

  • Bharath H on April 20, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    RR and Kings XI have won a match each. They should have an unchanged side.

    My RR sequence:

    Watson, Samson, Ajinkya, Binny, Steve, Nayar, Faulkner, Bhatia, Richardsaon, Kulkarnin, Tambe

    Kings XI sequence:

    Sehwag, Miller, Pujara, Maxwell, Bailey, Saha, Johnson, Sandeep, Murali Karthik, balaji, awana..

    Did Murali Karthik bowl in the past match against CSK??

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Rahane ,Binny & Watson will be the deciding players of the match. The king's eleven panjab ,even though they have convincing win over Chennai , will struggle.

  • gokul on April 20, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    RR should play Southee in place of Richardson.

  • Android on April 20, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    such a blissful fire work by maxwell and killer miller amazing ipl

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    That sounded like India vs Pakistan. Batting heavy vs Bowling heavy.

  • Android on April 20, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Just because RR have a batting line up that is even worse than their bowling line up doesn't make them a bowling heavy side!!! Why is everyone so disillusioned? When u have watto, Mishy and Faulkner as your strike bowlers, your bowling attack is at best average.

  • syed on April 20, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    its like australia vs australia

  • Android on April 20, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    My RR team - Rahane, Watson, Samson, Smith, Binny, Nayar,Bhatia, Faulkner, Richardson, kulkarni, tambe

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