It will be a match-up between two contrasting teams in the tournament. Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be looking to get back to winning ways when they meet the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), in the 40th match of the tournament.

Punjab after suffering a couple of losses returned to winning ways with their victory against Delhi Daredevils (DD).

The form of KL Rahul at the top of the order for Punjab has paid rich dividends, so far, in this ongoing eleventh season.

The Karnataka-based batter has forged a formidable partnership with Chris Gayle at the top of the order. The opening duo has got their side to brisk starts on most of the occasions. They have been quite impressive.

The middle order has not been tested on a consistent basis. Punjab will surely look to get their middle order quite firm as the tournament reaches its business end. Marcus Stoinis has proved to be crucial in the last couple of games.

However, the middle order hasn’t been consistent enough. The bowling department, on the other hand, has proved to be quite impressive all through the tournament.

Well, the phenomenal rise of Ankit Rajpoot has been a major positive for Punjab. The two teams just met a day before and it was a sensational piece of bowling by mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Andrew Tye which restricted Rajasthan to a below-par score of 152.

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Kings XI Punjab KL Rahul IPL 2018
Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Rajasthan got off to a good start courtesy a fluent half-century from Jos Buttler. Mujeeb literally bamboozled the likes of Jofra Archer. He couldn’t read the delivery and was beaten all ends up. He also bagged the Man of the Match Award for his match-winning spell.

However, a fluent innings from Shreyas Gopal eventually helped Rajasthan to set a somewhat a modest target

Rajasthan will surely look for redemption against the team whom they lost just a day before. It is a must-win contest for Rajasthan. Any further defeats will more or less eliminate from the contention of playoffs.

Punjab will be confident of the fact that they can continue their good run in the tournament. The victory against the same oppositions will further give them the confidence to come out and express themselves.

The form of Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat has been the biggest concerns for Rajasthan. The two most expensive players in the tournament have failed to put on a substantial performance. It has been a major reason behind Rajasthan falling behind in the points table.

Archer has been a big positive for Rajasthan. Ever since his recovering from the injury, Archer has impressed all and sundry with his pace and line and length.

However, rest of the players hasn’t been consistent enough which has resulted in Rajasthan losing six matches in the tournament so far. They will surely need to pull their socks on Tuesday and come out with an inspiring performance.

On the other hand, Punjab will look to register their seventh victory of the tournament and strengthen their position in the top half of the points table.

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Team Combinations

Rajasthan Royals

Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals
Photo by: Rahul Gulati /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

It has surely become a tough situation for Rajasthan. They have to win almost all the games from here on to harbour hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.

With the team they have would have surely looked to be in a better position. They might employ a few changes against visitors given the team’s fortune in the recent past. If the pitch is spin friendly then Royals’ skipper Rahane might be tempted to bring back Ish Sodhi, who bowled pretty well against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). But if it’s not the case Rajasthan might well stick with the same team.

Predicted XI: Jos Buttler, D’Arcy Short, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Anureet Singh, Jaydev Unadkat

Kings XI Punjab:

Mujeeb took 3 wickets (Credits: BCCI)

Punjab will definitely not look to change their winning combination. The bowling department looks pretty settled.

However, there is a worry in the middle order which they need to address as the tournament reaches its business end.

Predicted XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot

Match Prediction:

Both the franchises have performed quite contrastingly in the tournament so far. While Punjab has won six matches out of nine, it is just the opposite for Rajasthan who has won just three. They need to win today’s match quite badly.

I have a gut feeling that Rajasthan Royals will come out triumphant.

Despite their indifferent performance in the tournament, I am backing Rajasthan to register their fourth victory of the tournament.

Also, Read: IPL 2018: 40th Match: Royals vs Kings XI Punjab – Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI