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IPL 2019, RR vs KXIP: Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI against Kings XI Punjab

IPL 2019: Where will Ajinkya Rahane bat in Rajasthan Royals’ opening match against Kings XI Punjab? We provide the answers in our predicted XI.

Updated: Mar 25, 2019 14:46:07

By HT Correspondent

Ajinkya Rahane (L) and Steve Smith (R) during practice. (Twitter/Rajasthan Royals)

Rajasthan Royals are aiming to win their first Indian Premier League (IPL) title since becoming champions in 2008, the first season of the league. They open their 2019 campaign with a home tie against Kings XI Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Here is what we think will be Ajinkya Rahane’s playing XI for the match.

Rahul Tripathi

After having a breakthrough season with Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017, the right-hander had a relatively quiet year with Rajasthan Royals in 2018. This time, he will surely be looking to return to his previous run of form.

Jos Buttler



With 548 runs in 13 matches, Buttler was a star for Rajasthan Royals last season and with the World Cup just around the corner, this will be a great opportunity for the England international to score some valuable runs.



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Steve Smith

The star returns for the Royals and he has a point to prove. Steve Smith will be looking to get runs under his belt to strengthen his claim for a spot in the World Cup squad after serving a one year suspension and what better stage to get noticed than the IPL.

ALSO READ: Focus on Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals start campaign against Kings XI Punjab

Ajinkya Rahane

The captain has had all his success in the IPL as an opener but with Tripathi playing as the specialist opener, Rahane can be expected to play in the crucial number 4 slot to begin with. In case Tripathi fails to fire, expect Rahane to get back to the opening slot.

Sanju Samson

Once hailed as Dhoni’s successor in limited overs cricket, Samson has fallen way behind the likes of Rishabh Pant. The IPL though is a platform that has seen Samson come up with good performances and this will be an opportunity for the youngster to remind everyone of his abilities.

Ben Stokes

The trump card for the Rajasthan Royals. His onslaughts down the order with the bat and ability to pick up crucial wickets with the ball make him an asset for his team. Stokes would like to improve his economy in the death overs a bit and get the Royals over the line in the big chases, just like Russell does for KKR.

Krishanappa Gowtham

His all-round abilities came to the fore in his debut season with teh Royals last year. Ability to bowl spin with the new ball makes him an important member of the attack, especially in the power plays.

ALSO READ: Exclusive - Rajasthan Royals can win the title this season, says Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer

Rahane’s go to man in the death overs, Archers’ performance at the death will hold the key for Rajasthan against teams with power-hitters in their line-up.

Shreyas Gopal

A utility player, Gopal’s leg spin will be handy in the middle overs and as we know he can tonk a few down the orders.

Jaydev Unadkat

The million-dollar baby of the IPL. Rajasthan Royals broke the bank last season and did the same this year to keep Unadkat in the camp. His ability to bowl slower deliveries at will makes him a threat in the death overs.

Dhawal Kulkarni

Experienced customer with the ability to move the new ball. Kulkarni could be a handful on surfaces which allow the ball to move after pitching.

First Published: Mar 25, 2019 14:45:02

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