Date: 18th April 2021
Time: 7:30 pm (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Live Ball-by-Ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
It is the first double header of the 2021 Indian Premier League this Sunday. Two blockbuster clashes are on the cards and there could hardly be a weekend plan better than getting engrossed with the highest quality of T20 action. After the 3:30 pm start to the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders match, the action will shift to Chennai where it will be the Delhi Capitals up against the Punjab Kings. Both the teams started off their respective campaigns with a win this year.
DC registered a dominant 7-wicket win over CSK and PBKS won a high-scoring thriller against RR in their opening clash. But the other day it was a completely different result for Punjab who faced a humiliating defeat to Chennai after managing just 106 while asked to have a bat first. Delhi, too, stumbled in their batting in their second encounter but their bowlers made a game out of it before they allowed RR's Chris Morris to snatch a win from them.
With an ambition to return to winning track in IPL 2021, both teams will face off at an exciting Wankhede strip producing varied kind of matches to add to the excitement of it all. Sit back and feast on this cricketing action this Sunday.
The news from the camp is that Anrich Nortje has joined the team's bio-bubble after a false positive extended his stay at mandatory quarantine. He is expected to replace Tom Curran who has conceded 75 runs off his 46 deliveries in this year's tournament scalping just a wicket in the first match. Other than that, there shouldn't be too many changes in the squad.
As far as Punjab Kings are concerned, they would like to view the game against CSK as a one off game and would stick to the same plan with which they started. Difficult to foresee any major changes in that batting unit after a poor game in which the entire top-order failed but they might consider making a few tweaks to their bowling combination.
Head to head:
After the defeat to Rajasthan Royals in their second game, DC head coach Ricky Ponting admitted that not allowing R Ashwin his full quota of over might have been a mistake. Ashwin will be crucial even in the game against Punjab. Not only can he bowl inside the powerplay overs but spinners getting some assistance with matches being played at Wankhede, he will fancy his chances of making an impact with the ball.
The Punjab Kings skipper was in great form in the team's opening match. Even in the second match he looked in fine nick before getting run out. Rahul holds the key to Punjab's batting and along with Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle forms a formidable top-order for the team. The roles are also pretty much well-defined with Rahul looking to bat deep into the innings while Agarwal and Gayle trying to play their strokes.
He has had a couple of quite outings in the tournament. While Ricky Ponting had hinted he could bat up the order, he hasn't scored runs one would expect from a player of his repute. In addition, he hasn't made a decisive impact with the ball either. Watch out for an impactful performance from the Australian cricketer.
Probable Playing XI
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lalit Yadav/Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin/ Ravi Bishnoi, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh