IPL 2018: KXIP, RR look to break winless run

Mid-table side Punjab will look to get their campaign back on track after a couple of defeats when they lock horns with bottom-placed Rajasthan in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

IPL 2018: KXIP, RR look to break winless run
PTI

Indore: Mid-table side Punjab will look to get their campaign back on track after a couple of defeats when they lock horns with bottom-placed Rajasthan in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

Like KXIP, RR are coming off two straight defeats, but the Punjab outfit is placed much higher than its next opponents and is pretty much in with a chance to qualify for the playoffs.

While they would regret letting Mumbai off the hook at the Holkar International Stadium on Friday night, Punjab have a side capable of making a turnaround.

For a team that boasts someone like Chris Gayle at the top of the order, it can always afford to hope. That the big-hitting Jamaican has been in red-hot form in this ongoing edition of the league, only adds to their confidence.

With his stupendous run of form, Gayle has already silenced his detractors and if his brisk fifty against Mumbai is any indication, he is in no mood to relax as yet.

While his bowlers were taken to task by Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya in the last five overs, KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin blamed his batsmen for not putting enough runs on the board after they went down to Mumbai.

Put in to bat, Punjab failed to capitalise on a good batting track and barring Chris Gayle's 40-ball fifty, no other top-order batsmen stood up.

It was Marcus Stoinis' (29 not out off 15 balls) last-over blitz that carried Punjab to 174/6.

Ashwin, nevertheless, sounded optimistic of better days ahead.

"We fought well, if a few things had gone our way, we might have ended as winners (against MI). We bowled pretty well, but this wasn't our night," Ashwin said after the game against MI.

He refused to believe that the week's break had any impact on the team's performance.

As far as Rajasthan are concerned, Englishman Jos Buttler will be the one to watch out for. Fresh from his 18-ball half century against Delhi, Buttler will look to replicate that showing on Sunday, albeit in a winning cause this time.

Skipper Ajinkya Rahane would himself look to score some quick runs and inspire his success-starved players. The last time RR emerged victorious was on April 22, against Mumbai, and they would be eager to get back to winning ways.

Teams (from):

Rajasthan: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Heinrich Klaasen, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Sudhesan Midhun, Sanju Samson, Jatin Saxena, D'Arcy Short, Ish Sodhi, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Jaydev Unadkat.

Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Barinder Sran, David Miller, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Axar Patel, Akshdeep Nath, Mayank Agarwal, Manoj Tiwary, Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, Mayank Dagar.

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