The Rajasthan Royals team will face face-off Kings XI Punjab in their first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 in Jaipur on Monday.
The Royals had made the place in the playoff last year, and now it looks even stronger, with the return of Steve Smith - who will be in focus as he was missing in last season after the ball-tampering dispute - and besides the partner - Australian Ashton Turner However, due to the national duty, neither of the two will be available for the entire league.
This restriction was limited to state and international tournaments, not applicable for domestic cricket or club cricket. The IPL will be a true start for the return and Smith will try to take advantage of it before the World Cup in England from May 30.
Smith, however, has not been able to recover completely from the elbow injury and he will take a little more time to recover. Rajasthan Royals, led by Ajinkya Rahane, is one of the best teams. England all-rounder Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are also part of the team but they will not be available after April 25 because the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has issued a decree for the World Cup. Therefore, Rajasthan's team would like to win as many matches as possible.
Jaydev Unadkat, Oshane, Varun Aaron, Thomas are part of a strong seam attack spearheaded by Stokes, Jofra Archer. K. Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal would be the main spinners.
Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi and some other options will be present for Rajasthan to play in different situations.
They, however, pale in comparison to Punjab's spin attack featuring captain R. Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the new, uncapped mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy.
On the other hand, the team Panjab led by Ravichandran Ashwin will depend on their opener Chris Gayle and Lokesh Rahul for an aggressive start. Punjab's bowling will be strong with the presence of Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.