Both teams have won their previous encounter on the back of a scintillating personal batting effort. While Sanju Samson put the Chennai attack to sword, Punjab skipper KL Rahul made one of the finest centuries ever seen in the IPL. Not only did Rahul cross three figures, he went on to stay right till the end and completely batted RCB out of the match.
In Sunday's encounter either side will expect the other batsmen also to stand up. Both teams undoubtedly have plenty of batting talent in their kitty. Rajasthan will expect runs from skipper Steve Smith as well as big-hitters Jos Buttler and David Miller. Young Yashasvi Jaiswal failed in his maiden outing, so he would be keen to make an impact as well.
As for Punjab, while Rahul shone against RCB, opener Mayank Agarwal played a splendid knock in a losing cause against Delhi Capitals. They would be hoping for runs from the likes of Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell, who have been disappointing so far.
In the bowling department as well, the teams are well-matched. While Rajasthan have the pacy Jofra Archer to open the bowling, Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal will be expected to do the job as the two spinners. On the other hand, Punjab have the wily Mohammad Shami leading the bowling attack. In Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin, they have two wicket-taking spin options.
Head to Head Record
The two teams have faced-off on 19 occasions, with Rajasthan having won 10 and Punjab nine.
Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI: Jos Buttler (WK), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Steve Smith (C), Sanju Samson, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat and Ankit Rajpoot
Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI: KL Rahul (C & WK), Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, James Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham/Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Sheldon Cottrell and Mohammed Shami
The pitch definitely favours batsmen. The previous match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai saw both teams scoring in excess of 200. Dew will play a part but teams have struggled chasing decent targets so batting first might be an option.
The weather on Sunday at Sharjah is predicted to be hot and sunny. Maximum temperature will be in the region of 38 degree Celsius and humidity 50 per cent.