Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith has opted to bowl first after winning the toss against KL Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab in Match 50 of IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Smith makes one change in the line-up as pacer Varun Aaron will play his second match this IPL.
Smith said like other games off late in the tournament, he expects dew to play a big role and hence the decision to bowl first as he drops Ankit Rajpoot from the line-up.
"We will bowl. Don't know what happens here with the dew, so we are gonna chase tonight. It's been a bit of up and down tournament for us. It's been a tough one, we've got Varun Aaron in tonight. He brings a lot of pace and comes in for Rajpoot. Hopefully, he can add something for us in the Powerplay," he said.
KXIP skipper Rahul echoed similar sentiment of bowling first but expects pitch not to change over the match.
"I would've looked to bowl as well, but looks like a good wicket, so will remain the same for the 40 overs. It's just everything coming together, the last four or five games, we've come really well. It's good to see and it's been a complete team effort. We would look to go out there and enjoy ourselves. Same team," he said.
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson(w), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi.
As per the pitch report, the turf looks good for batting. As a batsman, one would target the shorter boundaries and picking the gaps will be crucial. Another factor is the approach of Ben Stokes in the last game. Only 3 sixes were hit, so that's important information from the batting point of view. There is a lovely covering of grass, so go and boss it out there.