(Cricket news) Punjab Kings take on Rajasthan Royals in the Dubai International Stadium in a must win match for both teams, with Mumbai dropping points Rajasthan can go level on points and can also occupy the 4th position if they win. On the other hand KL Rahul’s side can’t afford any more slip ups as they have to potentially win all their matches to stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Both the sides will have plenty of new faces due to the non availability of players, and some of those could work in favour looking at their form and calibre of these players.
Rajasthan Royals are basically going to have a new set of foreign players as the likes of Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Andrew Tye and Jos Buttler all opted out as they wanted to focus on the T20 World Cup and Ashes. Although the Royals have got in form players in Evin Lewis, Oshane Thomas, Shamsi and Glenn Phillips in. The positives for Royals is that Liam Livingston and Evin Lewis are in sublime form as both were the highest run getters in the Hundred and CPL respectively. A lot of responsibility falls on Chris Morris to lead the relatively inexperienced bowling attack as players like Archer and Tye opted out, Morris’ match up with Gayle will be an interesting watch as the South African has dismissed him three times scoring 58 runs in 61 balls only.
Punjab Kings on the other hand will be without Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith and Dawid Malan, the kings decided to bring in Nathan Ellis, Adil Rashid and Aiden Markarm as their replacements. The kings during the first phase had a lot of dependency on the top order as 50% of the runs this season have been scored by KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, the middle order has only averaged 17.10% of the runs in this year's IPL, which is the lowest amongst the teams. A solution to this problem could be Markarm as he recently played in the slow turning pitches in Sri Lanka recently at number 3. The Kings can straightway hand Adil Rashid his debut as the Royal players tend to struggle to spin.
Also read: Kolkata Knight Riders outclass dull Royal Challengers Bangalore to win by 9 wickets
Head to head: RR 12 – 10 PBKS, their last game was a thriller as kings won by four runs in the last over.
Pitch and Weather report: The pitch was green top in the first match which assisted the fast bowlers. It is expected to turn slower like it did earlier as a total of 160 could be a challenging target especially with the long boundaries. The temperature is going to hover around 42 degrees with no chances of rain as of now.
- Mustafizur (43) and Shamsi (41) are the second and third highest wicket-takers in T20s in 2021
- KL Rahul has a strike rate of over 157 in the middle overs
- Kings (57) and Royals (52) are amongst the top three six hitting teams this season
- Mustafizur has an economy rate of 8.81 in the death overs which is the best this season
Probable XI for PBKS:
1 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Deepak Hooda, 5 Nicholas Pooran, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Fabian Allen/Adil Rashid, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Arshdeep Singh, 10 Nathan Ellis, 11 Mohammed Shami
Probable XI for RR:
1 Evin Lewis, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Liam Livingstone, 5 Riyan Parag, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Rahul Tewatia, 9 Kartik Tyagi, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Chetan Sakariya/Jaydev Unadkat