Star Wars 2018, RR vs KXIP: K. L. Rahul vs Jofra Archer

The battle up front, between Rajasthan Royals new-ball bowlers and Kings XI Punjab's opening batsmen, could have a bearing on the end-result.

Kings XI Punjab can put itself one step closer to reaching the playoffs by winning against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday (May 8). A K. L. Rahul special on Sunday — he made an unbeaten 54-ball 84, his highest score in IPL — helped it win its home leg against this opposition and this Karnataka batsman will once again hold the key to its chances of doing the double on the Royals.

Opening the batting, Rahul is likely to go up against Jofra Archer, who has eight wickets in four IPL 2018 matches. Archer has been nippy and the lengths he has bowled (short, back of a length and full) have been disconcerting for the batsmen.

Rahul, being a very good front-foot and back-foot player, has the repertoire to counter the challenge posed by Archer. Rahul is a player high on confidence as well, coming from the match-winning performance on Sunday. So, Jofra Archer and co. have to come up with a fresh plan to give themselves a chance of picking Rahul's wicket.

With Kings XI being quite reliant on its top-order, the wickets of Rahul and Gayle, in particular, could hold the key. And Archer, bowling with the new ball, has a chance to make a difference for his team.