IPL 2019, RR vs KXIP Team Predicted Playing 11 for Today Match: All eyes will be on former Australian captain Steve Smith, who will embark on a redemption journey when Rajasthan Royals open their campaign against Kings XI Punjab in the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Jaipur on Monday. With Smith in their ranks, the Royals have one of the best teams this season led by Ajinkya Rahane and they would be eager to capitalise on the home advantage.
Ravichandran Ashwin-led Punjab side would rely heavily on openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul to provide them a fiery start. Skipper Ashwin would be desperate to prove that he can still make a difference in this format. With Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Punjab’s bowling looks pretty strong.
RR vs KXIP Predicted Playing 11, IPL 2019 Live Updates at Sawai Man Singh Stadium, in Malayalam
Rajasthan Royals: Rahane (C), Buttler, Smith, Samson, Stokes, Tripathi, Gowtham, Gopal, Archer, Unadkat, Kulkarni
Kings XI Punjab: Gayle, Rahul, Agarwal, Sarfaraz, Pooran, Mandeep, Sam Curran, Ashwin (C), Shami, Mujeeb, Rajpoot
RR to bowl first, Steve Smith starts
Rahane says the foreigners that RR will be playing are Ben Stokes, Joffra Archer, Jos Buttler and Steve Smith. For KXIP, it will be Gayle, Pooran, Curran and Mujeeb.
Ashwin and Rahane
R Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane, two players who are integral to India's cause in Test cricket but have got sidelined in the limited overs setup. They have been busy in the domestic circuit in the time that India played Australia in an ODI and T20I series and now they are back in the limelight in coloured clothing, albeit those colours may be a different shade of blue and red. They may not be harbouring any realistic hopes of making the World Cup squad anymore but those senior players may be wanting to prove a point or two in this tournament.
Fans of Delhi Capitals may have had a great time yesterday thanks to Rishabh Pant but those who also support the Indian team had a slight worry to deal with. Jasprit Bumrah seemed to have injured his shoulder while trying to stop Pant from smashing a four off the last ball of the Delhi innings. But the Mumbai Indians team management said that he is recovering well to the injury. READ MORE
The English presence in Rajasthan
Smith may be the obvious headline but Rajasthan fans will be excited to see Jos Buttler back in action. Last season, he went on overdrive, smashing a fifty in every match that he played. He hasn't really toned down since then and recently grabbed the world's attention by smashing 150 off 77 balls in an ODI against a rejuvenated West Indies squad. Ben Stokes is also there and he will be looking to regain the kind of form that made him the most expensive buy of the 2018 IPL auction.
A week ago, Steve Smith saw the Sawai Mansingh Stadium for the first time since 2015, just before the franchise was banned for two years. It was at this venue, almost a decade back, that he had a career-turning chat with Shane Warne, who advised him to dwell on his batting rather than leg-spin bowling. And on Monday, against Kings XI Punjab, Smith would begin another journey, one to Australia’s World Cup squad and personal retribution. READ MORE
Ajinkya Rahane on Smith's Return
Here is what Ajinkya Rahane has to say on the return of one Steve Smith:
The Captain has his say on @stevesmith49’s return and the core strength of our team! 💪🏾— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 25 March 2019
The match starts in just a few hours! How are we feeling, Royals? 💗 #RRvKXIP #HallaBol pic.twitter.com/jRgeP7rOyB
Hesson: Unpredictability of our squad is a strength
"When we talked about the strength of the squad, we wanted the ability to potentially provide a different line-up depending on the conditions available. So hopefully that makes it difficult for sides to scout against us in the sense how we might use players. That's certainly our strength, I agree. It's always about the balance between a side that adapts to conditions and also providing a level of continuity in terms of the role that people play."
Shashank Singh joins RR
I left the movies for KXIP, says Preity Zinta
"After winning my first Filmfare award, people asked me what would I do after ten years and I said, “Well I’ll be doing business”. But I was told to relax and focus on movies. However, it was always in my head that there is life beyond the movies. So it was a very conscious decision to be involved in sports.”
Ashwin expects intense competition
Ashwin speaks ahead of the match. "It's a Royal start to the campaign for us! We start off our season in Jaipur against Rajasthan Royals and I always felt that if you can kick off with a win in an away game, it would add some teeth to the campaign. But I expect the competition to be intense," he said.
Confident KXIP new coach
Coach Hesson looks confident ahead of KXIP's first clash of the season. Hesson was appointed the coach of the Mohali side in October after the franchise finished seventh last season.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium
Here is all you need to know about Sawai Mansingh Stadium, which has hosted games during two different World Cups.
सवाइ मानसिंह स्टेडियम— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 25 March 2019
Sawai Mansingh Stadium
Kaise bhi bolo, kaise bhi likho, hai toh humaari fortress! But, do you know everything about it? Watch to know it all!#RRvKXIP #HallaBol pic.twitter.com/sTsYiNGYgY
Steve Smith’s royal road to redemption
Steve Smith could hardly throw the cricket ball, it was reported on the first few days at the Royals’ nets, and spent most of the time watching his teammates practise, raving about the new pink-and-blue jerseys of the franchise and screeching “Halla Bol” in team videos, sporting an orange Jodhpuri turban and wearing a beatific smile.
RR vs KXIP Preview
There will be significant spotlight on Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. Buttler was Royals’ driving force last season and has since cemented his place in England squads accross formats. He recently blazed a 150 in 77 balls against a rejuvenated West Indies and looks set to pick up from where he left off last season for RR. Stokes, on the other hand, has experienced a dip in his batting form recently but his all round abilities should keep him in the playing XI.
Kings XI Punjab full squad
Two of the biggest signings for Kings XI Punjab at the IPL 2019 auctions were Varun Chakaravarthy and Prabhsimran Singh. KXIP are yet to win their maiden IPL title and they will be hoping to make a good start to their challenge against RR.
Rajasthan Royals full squad
Rajasthan Royals, who won the first ever IPL, have a reputation of selecting young but formidable sides. Here is their complete player list ahead of their first match against KXIP.
RR Predicted Playing XI: Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler(WK), Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat
KXIP Predicted Playing XI: Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul (WK), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Ravi Ashwin(C), Sam Curran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Andrew Tye, Varun Chakravarthy, Mohammad Shami
RR vs KXIP Live Updates
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the buildup to Rajasthan Royals' first IPL 2019 match against Kings XI Punajab in Jaipur. All eyes will be on Steve Smith, who will embark on a redemption journey in the buildup to World Cup in two months.