The in-form Rajasthan Royals (RR) will take on the struggling Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the match no. 18 of Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. RR have won all their five matches while KXIP have just managed to win one game out of four matches.
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson came back in the playing XI after he missed out on the first four matches due to a bruised hip and he did not fail to impress with his captaincy and with his bat against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). This change in the RR side did not shake their balance. Meanwhile, KXIP have been reeling right from the start of the tournament. They will be looking for a revival and would be despearte for a win. Here are some of the key battles from the match:
Virender Sehwag vs Chris Morris: If Sehwag fires at the top of the order then he can tear apart any bowling attack in the world. So far, he has not been that effective in this tournament but he would want to impose himself on the RR bowlers on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Morris has bowled well with the new ball and he can be equally good in the death overs. He will be a difficult customer to score runs off.
Shane Watson vs Sandeep Sharma: Watson announced his arrival in this edition of Pepsi IPL by scoring 73 runs from just 47 balls against the mighty CSK and thereby guiding his side to a comprehensive victory by eight wickets in their last match. Meanwhile, Sandeep Sharma has been showcasing some brilliant swing bowling right from the start of the tournament. He picked up four wickets by giving away just 25 runs in his four overs against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Sharma would look to trouble Watson upfront with the new ball.
Ajinkya Rahane vs Mitchell Johnson: Rahane is running away with the 'Orange Cap' already. He has 231 runs in five matches so far and would look to add some more runs to his name. On the other hand, Johnson has been bowling fast and he is hitting the deck hard. To add to this, he is also getting the ball to swing. It will be an interesting encounter as these two players have played against each other quite a number of times since last December.
Steven Smith vs Axar Patel: With the kind of form Smith is in right now, one can expect great things from him. Smith uses his feet to perfection against the spin bowling. Patel has to be aware of his weakness and would try to fox him with his variations. The pitch at Motera is likely to be on the slower side and if Patel bowls at a flatter trajectory then he is likely to create some problems for the batsmen.
George Bailey vs Pravin Tambe: Bailey has been leading his side from the front but he has ended up being on the losing side in spite of his heroics with the bat. He is one of the highest scorers of the tournament and he would look to continue doing the same for his side. Meanwhile, Tambe has the knack for picking up wickets quite often during his spells of four overs. His flighted deliveries can be very deceptive like his googlies.
KXIP are languishing at the bottom of the table and they will have to pull up their socks to stop the unbeaten Royals at their backyard.