Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings (PKBS) are the last two teams to kickstart their campaign in the 14th edition of this Indian Premier League (IPL). They square off in match number four at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The 2014 finalists changed their name from Kings XI Punjab to Punjab Kings this year and they will be hoping for a turnaround. Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals Head to Head favours the Royals 12 to 9.
Who Will Win? Current Live Odds
Sanju Samson – 119(63)
Chris Morris – 2(4)
|Current Bowler||Riley Meredith – 4.0ov – 49/1|
|Current Run Rate||10.85|
|Toss||Rajasthan Royals won the toss and elected to bowl.|
|Home Team||Rajasthan Royals|
|Score: 7-217 | Overs: 20.0|
|Away Team||Kings XI Punjab|
|Score: 6-221 | Overs: 20.0|
|Umpires||Chaudhary, A K|
Sharma, V K
|Match Referee||Nayyar, M|
|Ben Stokes||c&b: Shami||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|Manan Vohra||c&b: Singh||12||8||1||1||150.00|
|Sanju Samson||c: Hooda b: Singh||119||63||12||7||188.89|
|Jos Buttler||b: Richardson||25||13||5||0||192.31|
|Shivam Dube||c: Hooda b: Singh||23||15||3||0||153.33|
|Riyan Parag||c: Rahul b: Shami||25||11||1||3||227.27|
|Rahul Tewatia||c: Rahul b: Meredith||2||4||0||0||50.00|
|Chris Morris||not out||2||4||0||0||50.00|
|Total||(20.0 Ov, RR: 10.85)||217/7|
|Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Ben Stokes, 0.3), 2-25 (Manan Vohra, 3.2), 7-217 (Sanju Samson, 19.6), 3-70 (Jos Buttler, 7.3), 4-123 (Shivam Dube, 12.4), 5-175 (Riyan Parag, 16.2), 6-201 (Rahul Tewatia, 18.1)|
|Lokesh Rahul||c: Tewatia b: Sakariya||91||50||7||5||182.00|
|Mayank Agarwal||c: Samson b: Sakariya||14||9||2||0||155.56|
|Chris Gayle||c: Stokes b: Das||40||28||4||2||142.86|
|Deepak Hooda||c: Das b: Morris||64||28||4||6||228.57|
|Nicholas Pooran||c: Sakariya b: Morris||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Shahrukh Khan||not out||6||4||1||0||150.00|
|Jhye Richardson||c: Morris b: Sakariya||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Total||(20.0 Ov, RR: 11.05)||221/6|
|Fall of wickets: 5-220 (Lokesh Rahul, 19.2), 1-22 (Mayank Agarwal, 2.4), 2-89 (Chris Gayle, 9.5), 3-194 (Deepak Hooda, 17.3), 4-201 (Nicholas Pooran, 17.6), 6-221 (Jhye Richardson, 19.6)|
OTHER MATCH EVENT TOP MARKETS
There is a lot of talk around the three teams who have never won the IPL and how they’ve under-achieved. However, not a lot of attention has gone towards RR’s inconsistency and inability to make it to the top four regularly.
Since winning the IPL title in the first season (2008), RR have made it to the playoffs just three times (2013, 2015 and 2018) and have failed to reach the final even once. Over the last couple of years, they have been poor. In 2019, they just about managed to avoid the wooden spoon finish but couldn’t do the same in 2020 as they finished last.
This year, RR have made a few changes and their line-up looks a lot better. RR’s overseas core was always one of the best in the tournaments and it is no different this time around either. However, Chris Morris’ inclusion is a massive one. The South African all-rounder is a very good death bowler and can tonk at the end with the bat.
Mustafizur Rahman is a good backup for Archer as well. There are rumours going around the Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler might open and that gives a fiery look to the side with Sanju Samson to follow. This is the debut season as captain for Samson as well.
On the other hand, Punjab Kings are the perennial under-achievers in the IPL. Year after year, it is the same story for them. Over the last three years, they have come very close to making it to the playoffs but they falter at the end. In fact, Punjab are a team which has made it to the playoffs the least number of times.
Punjab have a fantastic top four in KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran. There is Dawid Malan waiting in the wings as well. The bowling wears a pretty good look as well and they have quite a few options.
However, the middle-order is once again an issue and they don’t really have a proper Indian No. 7. The only player who slots in there is Fabien Allen and if he is to be picked that means, Punjab either need to leave Gayle/Pooran out or play just one overseas fast bowler.
Team news: Rajasthan Royals
RR suffered a big blow ahead of the start of the 2021 season of the IPL. Jofra Archer was ruled out of the first few games of the tournament as he underwent a hand surgery. There are no other injury concerns for the Sanju Samson-led side.
Team news: Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings have no injury issues and all the players are available for this game.
Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal/Manan Vohra, Jos Butler, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman/Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Sarfaraz Khan/Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin/Arshdeep Singh
Jos Buttler: Jos Buttler has been very consistent for RR over the last few years. He has scored 1187 runs at an average of 42.39 and a strike-rate of 151.21 in the last three years.
He found excellent success at the top of the order but the team management moved Ben Stokes to the top and Buttler dropped down the order halfway through the last season. There are reports that Buttler is likely to open. However, irrespective of where he bats, Buttler will be a massive threat as he is a game-changer.
Mayank Agarwal: Mayank Agarwal may be a vital player at the top of the order for PKBS. The Karnataka lad was crucial for them last year as well. He aggregated 424 runs at an average of 38.54 and a strike-rate of 156.45 and it was his best ever season in the history of his IPL career.
With KL Rahul anchoring the innings, the onus will be on Agarwal to blast away in the powerplay and be the aggressor, like he did in the 2020 season.
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