The fourteenth edition Indian Premier League has started with a bang, producing three big clashes in the last three days. Now, it’s the time for Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings to go head to head in Wankhede Stadium on Monday. The clash between these two heavyweights will surely produce an entertaining encounter, which will leave the fans glued to their TV sets. The game will be played behind closed doors for Covid-19 restrictions.
Wankhede Stadium is set to host Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings on Monday, with both the teams laying eyes on winning the trophy. Wankhede has always been a batting paradise, with the pitch offering plenty of runs for both teams. However, batting first always provides a better chance of winning the match. Toss won’t be a deciding factor here, but the pitch suits strong fast bowlers. A team with hard-hitting batsmen and a reliable bowling unit can consider themselves favorites for this tie. The boundary is uniform throughout the field. Hence it will be moderately easy for the batsman on both ends while going for the maximum.
Rajasthan Royals Team News
Rajasthan Royals, the winner of the inaugural edition of IPL, has been erratic at best in the last couple of seasons. They couldn’t perform as per the expectations of their fans – which they would surely want to rectify this season. Rajasthan has made some interesting acquisitions in the Mini-Auction held, where they bought Chris Morris. They made a huge call before the auctions by letting Steve Smith go and promoting Sanju Samson to lead the side. RR have a decent batting unit, with Sanju himself along with Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes providing the experience, and a bunch of Indian youngsters with the firepower.
They are the perennial underdogs in the IPL who have been underperforming for quite a while now. The Royals qualified for the playoffs twice in the last four seasons, but they finished 8th in the recently concluded season of IPL. They would need to up their game this season and find some consistency if they are hoping to lay their hands on the trophy. They will be without their star-bowler Jofra Archer and will have to come up with a backup solution to replace this indispensable bowler.
Rajasthan Royals Predicted Eleven– Chris Morris(Overseas), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube, Mustafizur Rahman(Overseas) Ben Stokes(Overseas), Sanju Samson (C), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jos Buttler (WK) (Overseas), Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi.
Punjab Kings Team News
Punjab Kings, erstwhile known as Kings XI Punjab, are one of the very teams never to lay their hands on the trophy. They have made plenty of changes, one of the biggest would be the change of the franchise name, as they look to start afresh keeping an eye on the elusive trophy.
Punjab Kings are never short of firepower in their batting unit. They boast Chris Gayle, one of the most explosive batsmen in this format, along with KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal. They have bought Dawid Malan, and a lot will be expected from the Englishman. Malan who sits in the top position in the ICC T20 batsman rankings will have everyone’s eyes on him on Monday as well as in this entire campaign. They have a top-heavy batting unit backed up by a fairly strong bowling side too. They have invested their faith in young guns this time. Arshdeep Singh, who was there last year, is accompanied by their newest acquisition Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith.
Punjab Kings Predicted Eleven– Fabian Allen(Overseas), Arshdeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran(Overseas), KL Rahul (C&WK), Jhye Richardson(Overseas), Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Gayle(Overseas).
RR vs Punjab Kings – Key Stats
Wankhede averages a total of 189 runs for the teams batting first. The flat surface is not something the bowlers can heavily rely on. Scores soar as high as 235 here.
The Punjab Kings and Royals have faced each other 21 times and out of which Rajasthan lead the score by 12 wins. It was only last year when Rahul Tewatia had everyone on the edge of the seat before going on to hit 5 sixes in 6 balls while chasing the gigantic total of 223 handed to them by Rajasthan. That was the turning point of last year’s fixture when Rajasthan lost even after Mayank Agarwal reached the three-figure mark, and scored 106 runs in just fifty balls.
KL Rahul and Sanju Samson have been the highest active run scorers from their respective teams every time they have faced each other.
This fixture brings a lot of enthusiasm and memories for the fans and will prove to be a vital game on Monday