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Struggling Kings XI Punjab to face defiant Rajasthan Royals

XI-PunjabA struggling Kings XI Punjab will have to pull out all stops against the sole unbeaten side, Rajasthan Royals, when the two teams clash in an Indian Premier League match.

Rajasthan Royals have successfully dealt with all the challenges thrown at them in the five games they have played so far. Four of those wins have come while chasing, with the one here yesterday against an consistent outfit like Chennai Super Kings, being the most convincing. They made a mockery of the 157-run target as openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson shared a blazing 144-run stand off 97 balls.

The Kings XI Punjab will have to find a way to stop the solid Rahane, who has been the tournament’s leading scorer with 231 runs at an average of 57.75. That there has not been a standout effort with the ball goes to show the Royals are clicking well again as a unit. Leg-spinner Pravin Tambe has been their most successful bowler with five wickets from as many games at 23 and a decent economy rate of 6.76.

While Kings XI Punjab has put up a reasonable bowling effort so far, it is their famed batting that has let them down. The last year’s runners-up have had an ordinary start this season, with only a win to show from four games.

What is making it tough for them is that the dangerous opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay has not been able to build on starts.

The move to drop deadly hitter David Miller and bring in all-rounder Thisara Perera in the last match against KKR also did not pay off. The biggest cause of concern must be the form of Glenn Maxwell, who continues to find the going tough in India.

He has got 61 runs at 15.25 and the team expects more from the Australian, who was in good touch in the World Cup and starred for them in the UAE leg of IPL last year.

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