Rajasthan Royals will play their first match in IPL 2019 by locking horns against Kings XI Punjab on March 25. Both sides are loaded with plenty of firepower and hence this should be an exciting contest to watch.
And as both teams have match-winners in their arsenal the fate of the match could be decided by the result of the individual battle between the players. Here are the three individual battles to look out for in this match.
#3. R Ashwin vs Steve Smith-
This should be a mouth watering battle. Steve Smith has established himself as a high quality player of spin bowling and his distinctive footwork gives him the edge over spinners. On the other hand, R Ashwin is probably playing to restamp his worth in T20 cricket as wrist-spinners across the globe are taking center-stage.
Ashwin will have to bring out his best to negate the threat of Smith and it will be interesting to see what kind of variations he brings to table.
#2. Chris Gayle vs Jaydev Unadkat-
Rajasthan’s biggest headache will be Chris Gayle who is in terrific form in the recent times. The left-hand batsman has honed his pulls and hooks and this has given him more options for mauling the bowling attacks.
Unadkat’s natural angle will infact suit Gayle’s style of play and this is what makes this battle exciting. The left-arm seamer will have to produce a stunning spell of fast bowling to tie down Gayle as it is evident that a little bit of error will see the ball being walloped in the stands.
#1. Jos Buttler vs Mohammad Shami-
These are two players who are at the best of their powers. Buttler recently smashed 150 runs in 77 balls against Windies while Shami was the man of the series against New Zealand. Hence, this is the decisive battle in this match.
Buttler likes pace on the ball so he will fancy his chances against Shami while the right-arm pacer has been hitting the deck hard recently and has generated some extra pace. Can he work his tricks against Buttler?