The stage is now set for match no. 32 in the Indian T20 League where two teams - Punjab and Rajasthan, who are well in the race of qualifying for playoffs, will clash against each other in what is expected to be a high-voltage contest in Dubai. With two evenly balanced sides on display, we try to determine who could have an upper hand going into this contest by considering the following factors:
1. Head-to-head record
In the 22 meetings between the two sides, there is hardly anything to separate them with Rajasthan winning 10 and Punjab emerging victorious on 10 occasions. Although Rajasthan won both the matches last season, the recency factor favours Punjab who won the run-fest between the two sides earlier this season.
2. UAE factor
The last match that was played in Dubai (between Chennai and Mumbai) reflected that pace bowlers can have a match-winning impact on the wicket. This is where Punjab could have an edge with bowlers like Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh and Nathan Ellis in their side who could prove to be more lethal at this venue. With a spinner in form of Ravi Bishnoi who can ball quick, KL Rahul's side have a certain edge in the bowling department with respect to conditions.
3. Form of players
Talking about the form of players, overseas players like Liam Livingstone, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran and Chris Gayle are coming on the back of playing a lot of competitive cricket. However, the difference could be the form and confidence of skippers on both sides. Punjab's captain KL Rahul had some brilliant performances in England, while his counterpart Sanju Samson did not have a very impressive tour of Sri Lanka, which just puts the ball slightly in Punjab's court, ahead of this match.
Considering the above-mentioned factors, the team of the day is Punjab.