The 50th match of the Indian Premier League [IPL] will see Kings XI Punjab [KXIP] lock horns with Rajasthan Royals [RR]] at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The Royals come into this game on the back of an eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians, and they will hope to replicate that against a side, who is currently on a five-match winning streak, KXIP.
Here’s a look at RR predicted XI against KXIP-
The best all-rounder in the world of the current era finally turned it on in the last game against the Mumbai Indians, leading his side to a much-needed win during their pursuit of 195.
After having struggled throughout the season, Stokes looked in his elements right from the outset during his knock of 60-ball 107. Stokes not only smashed his first six of the season but also registered his first 50-plus score in the IPL since 2017. RR will hope that the champion all-rounder continues with his performance against KXIP.
The stylish Indian batsman once again struggled to make the most of his opportunity at the top of the order, managing an 11-ball 13 before getting dismissed against James Pattinson.
With almost every game a virtual knockout for the Royals, Uthappa will hope to regain his form against KXIP.
Steve Smith [C]
It is fair to say that Steve Smith has had a disappointing IPL campaign with both bat as well as a leader this season. After having started the IPL 2020 season with a bang by smoking consecutive half-centuries, Smith’s form has tapered off substantially.
But more than the lack of runs, it’s the way Smith has been getting out that has been the most disappointing. Smith, whose basic strength is to time the ball and anchor the innings, has tried to slog his way to runs this year. As a result, more often than not, he has lost his shape and has looked ugly. His dismissal in the last game where he tried to smash James Pattinson without having moved his feet an inch was yet another example.
After having struggled to emulate his exploits of the first two games, Sanju Samson finally recaptured his form in the last game courtesy of an unbeaten 31-ball 54- an innings which included four fours and three stylish sixes.
Samson scored his first half-century after an extended lean patch of nine innings and he and RR will hope that it emulates the same against KXIP-the same side against whom he had smashed a 42-ball 85 in the previous outing.
Jos Buttler [WK]
Jos Buttler, just like the Rajasthan Royals, has blown hot and cold in the 13th edition of the IPL thus far. While he scored a match-winning 48-ball 70 against the Chennai Super Kings to help his side romp home by seven wickets, he struggled to up the tempo of the innings against SunRisers Hyderabad in his last outing before eventually getting dismissed for a 12-ball 9.
Buttler has thus far managed 271 runs in 10 innings at an average of 30.11 and a strike-rate of 139.69 with two half-centuries.
Riyan Parag has chipped-in with some brilliant cameos this season, none better than his epic heist along with Rahul Tewatia against SunRisers Hyderabad earlier in the competition.
The young Indian batsman will once again have a crucial role to play in the lower middle-order, should RR find themselves in such a situation in the upcoming games.
Rahul Tewatia has been the find of the season for the Royals. Not only has he chipped-in with match-winning knocks at the backend of the innings, but he has also been brilliant with the ball, and although he hasn’t picked up many wickets, he has given Smith a much-needed control in the middle-overs.
In the last game too, Tewatia gave away just 25 runs in his quota of four overs. Overall, Tewatia has scored 224 runs in 10 innings at a strike-rate of 143.59 besides claiming 7 wickets at an average of 39.86 and an economy rate of 7.15.
Jofra Archer has once again proved to be the ‘Most Valuable Player’ for the Rajasthan Royals this season. Not only has Archer cranked up the pace and taken wickets on a consistent basis, but he has also chipped in with breezy cameos with the bat
Archer has thus far claimed 17 wickets in 12 games at an average of 18.82 and a miserly economy rate of 6.71. With the bat, the English international has scored 107 runs in just 54 balls at a strike-rate of 198.15, including 10 monstrous sixes.
Shreyas Gopal chipped-in with two crucial wickets in the last game against the Mumbai Indians. The leg-spinner claimed the prized scalps of Suryakumar Yadav  and Saurabh Tiwary  to help RR claw their way back in the game.
Gopal finished with figures of 2-30 in four overs and he would be hoping to emulate the game against a power-packed RR unit.
Ankit Rajpoot had yet another disappointing outing in the last game against the Mumbai Indians. The fast bowler was taken to the cleaners in the last match by a rampaging Hardik Pandya. Rajpoot gave away 60 runs in his four overs, adding yet another disappointing chapter to his IPL 2020 campaign.
Rajpoot has managed just 2 wickets in six outings at an average of 99.5 and an economy rate of 11.71. The Royals don’t have many options to replace Rajpoot with. Jaydev Unadkat has struggled in whatever outings that he has got, Varun Aaron was discarded after one poor outing while rookie Akash Singh is yet to be tried. It will be interesting to see who the team-management back for the crucial clash against KXIP.
The rookie fast bowler had a tough outing in the last game as Hardik Pandya took him to the cleaners at the backend of the innings. That said, Tyagi has impressed this season with his ability to consistently nail yorkers, and the harsh lessons from the last outing should only make him better. Tyagi should retain his place in the playing 11.