Kings, Royals need to get tactics right in bid to stay alive

Kings, Royals need to get tactics right in bid to stay alive

Both Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals are in the same boat. Both teams are in the bottom half of the standings, with 12 points from 13 matches, and are desperately hoping not to capsize. Even if they win their final league fixture, they will need a number of other results to go their way if they’re to somehow reach the playoffs.
Both sides have employed some debatable tactics this season. For instance, Kings’ left-arm fingerspinner Harpreet Brar went from not bowling a single ball in spin-friendly Chennai to bowling the 16th, 18th and 20 overs against a well-set left-hander in Rilee Rossouw in Dharamsala on Wednesday. Brar ended up leaking 39 off those three overs in conditions that seemed to offer some help to the seamers. With Jitesh Sharma, Sam Curran and M Shahrukh Khan waiting in the wings, Kings perhaps waited too long to retire out Atharva Taide, who struggled to hit high gear in a 200-plus chase.
As for Royals, they hardly used Jason Holder’s batting skills in the first half of the season before he was benched. Similarly, they were reluctant to use a fit-again Obed McCoy against Sunrisers Hyderabad, getting just one over out of their Impact Player. Then, everything went wrong for them in their 112-run drubbing at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur.

Both teams have no known fitness issues yet. Trent Boult could return to the Royals side in place of legspinner Adam Zampa in conditions that could aid swing, especially in the early exchanges.

Punjab Kings: LWLLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals: LWLLL

Kings could once again bring in Prabhsimran Singh as their Impact Player in place of one of the seamers, if they chase. Likewise, they could start with Prabhsimran if they bat first and then introduce a bowler for their defence.

Punjab Kings probable XII: 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Prabhsimran Singh, 3 Atharva Taide, 4 Liam Livingstone, 5 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 6 M Shahrukh Khan, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Harpreet Brar, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Kagiso Rabada/Sikandar Raza, 11 Nathan Ellis, 12 Arshdeep Singh

As far as the Impact Player rule is concerned, Royals have not followed a consistent pattern. It’s quite hard to predict their Impact Player.

Rajasthan Royals probable XII: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Buttler, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Devdutt Padikkal, 5 Joe Root, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Dhruv Jurel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Adam Zampa/Trent Boult, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Sandeep Sharma, 12 KM Asif

Considering the small boundaries and the dew factor later in the evening, teams often tend to chase in Dharamsala. The weather is likely to be clear for the duration of the match.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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