Kings XI Punjab will hope too take another step towards qualification to the play off round, when they host Rajatshan Royals, on Saturday, May 5, 2012.
KXIP’s campaign came alive with their win over RCB that pushed them up into fourth place on the IPL table. RR’s fortunes have travelled in the reverse direction after a good start to their campaign. young openers Singh and Saini have done wonders for Kings’ morale in the absence of skipper Gilchrist, their regular opener. The Aussie middle order of Marsh and Hussey have capitalised on the starts given by the youngsters.
Azhar Mahmood’s induction, more than anything else, has ignited KXIP’s campaign. Mahmood has shone with both bat and ball and took the MOM award in the last game against RCB. With the team’s good showing in his absence, Gilchrist is unlikely to return to the eleven despite a full recovery from his injury.
RR who won their first two games on the trot have since come apart at the seams. Three consecutive losses have meant that Dravid’s men are looking down the abyss. Rahane and Dravid have given the side good starts on almost every occasion but barring Owais Shah, no other batsman has stood up to be counted, down the order. Watson’s induction has come at an opportune moment and if RR are to turn things around, the Aussie all-rounder will need to fire with bat and ball, alike. RR will be hit by the absence of Cooper owing to injury and that should bring Tait into the eleven. The tearaway fast bowler could be the catalyst RR need on a Mohali wicket that is likely to give bowlers a sniff. That said, Kings start as firm favourites.
KXIP’s probable eleven: Singh, Saini, Marsh, Hussey, Mahmood, Sharma, Harris, Chawla, Kumar, Awana, Bhatt.
RR’s probable eleven: Dravid, Rahane, Watson, Shah, Goswami, Menaria, Hogg, Chavan, Tait, P Singh, A Singh.
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