Rajasthan Royals were always considered to be a smart team, one that purchased talented young players such as Ravindra Jadeja for next to nothing and transformed them into superstars.
In the Indian Premier League 2018 though, it has been the complete opposite. Rajasthan Royals have spent a combined INR 24 crores on the likes of Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat, two of the most expensive players acquired in the IPL auction.
30 percent of their budget was spent on these players. Neither Stokes nor Unadkat has done anything much. Unadkat has shown himself to be what he is – a very mediocre medium pacer who can’t get wickets and can’t stop runs. He has an economy rate of 10.38.
Stokes has not really performed well with either the bat or ball. He has an economy rate of 9.80 and has scored just 148 runs in eight games at an average of 18.50. That is really, really poor.
Kings XI have been much smarter. They purchased the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Chris Gayle and Ankit Rajpoot for next to nothing and have already notched 5 wins out of 9, and are just two wins away from making it to the play-offs.
Rajasthan Royals are yet to settle down on a batting line-up. They have chopped and changed too often and have no clue as to who their best batsmen are.
Ajinkya Rahane has given them brisk starts, but nothing beyond that. He has been a disappointed. Jos Butler did well in a losing cause in the last match in the opening slot and should be persisted with.
Kings XI have to settle down on a proper batting line-up themselves. Apart from Gayle and Rahul, none of the Kings XI batsmen have really established themselves. Yuvraj Singh and Aaron Finch, the two veterans, have had a disastrous IPL.
Prediction: Kings XI should win this one.
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 KL Rahul (wk), 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Yuvraj Singh/Manoj Tiwary, 5 Karun Nair, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 Andrew Tye, 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Ankit Rajpoot
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Jos Buttler (wk), 2 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Rahul Tripathi, 6 Stuart Binny, 7 K Gowtham, 8 Jofra Archer, 9 Shreyas Gopal, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Ben Laughlin
Watch Kings XI Punjab play Rajasthan Royals tonight at 8 pm Live on Star Sports!