Date: 12th April 2021
Time: 7:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Live Ball-by-Ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
After a disappointing IPL last year, both Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings start their IPL 2021 campaign on Monday. Ahead of the new edition, both the teams have added to their strengths with some new signings. The highlight among all was Chris Morris, who was bought by the Royals for a whopping sum of 16.25 crore, the most for a player in the history of IPL auction. Shivam Dube (4.4 crores) and Mustafizur Rahman (1 crore) are the other big names to be included in the side.
Meanwhile, Punjab Kings made a hefty deal at the auction. They acquired the services of number 1 T20I batsman Dawid Malan (1.5 crores), Moises Henriques (4.2 crores) and Australian speedster Jhye Richardson (14 crores). The Punjab Kings are definitely one of the best sides this season with the amount of batting depth they have and the quality of bowling they possess. However, they wouldn’t do the same mistake again of letting Chris Gayle warm the benches.
Talking about the head to head battles in the previous edition between the two sides, Rajasthan Royals had beaten Punjab Kings twice, which included the thrilling chase of 224 runs and the heroic of Rahul Tewatia. Overall, Rajasthan have defeated Punjab on 12 occasions and have lost to them on 9.
Sanju Samson (c & wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar
He warmed the benches in the initial games of PBKS last year but as soon as he got an opportunity to play, Gayle proved why he is one of the best in the format. The self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ scored 288 runs across 7 matches in IPL 2020 with an average of 41.14 and strike rate of 137.14. However, that’s not a big thing for the T20 legend who has already played 132 IPL games, scoring 4772 runs at a strike rate of 150.11.
Pressure to perform will definitely be on the star all-rounder. Though he is not new to IPL, his recent deal with Rajasthan Royals will definitely keep him under the scanner. Morris experience will play a huge role for Rajasthan Royals who will be with their all-new skipper Sanju Samson.
A lot of eyes will be on the Punjab Kings captain throughout the tournament because the T20 World Cup is round the corner and Rahul’s form with the bat will decide his fate for the global event. Though he performed well with the bat last IPL season and won the Orange Cap, his strike rate was in question. He would definitely look to enhance that especially to win a spot in India’s T20I squad for the World Cup.
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (C), Ben Stokes, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror/ Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye/Mustafizur Rahman
KL Rahul (C/Wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Jhye Richardson