Date: 12 April 2021
Time: 7:30 pm (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Live Ball-by-ball-Commentary: SportsTiger App
Rajasthan led by new captain Sanju Samson will face KL Rahul led Punjab in match number 4 of the Indian T20 League coming your way from the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. While both the teams failed to qualify for the playoffs last season, RR at least have a trophy to show to their name for their efforts over the 13 seasons. Punjab, meanwhile, are still chasing their elusive title. Can a new identity (change in name) help them go the distance this year or will it be a new captain that will lead his side to glory after their heroics of the inaugural season? The journey for both teams will begin on Monday.
The big news from the Rajasthan camp is, of course, the absence of Jofra Archer at least for the first few games of the competition. The England speedster is battling a recurrent elbow injury and is undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom. With Archer set to matches, Chris Morris is likely to lead the pace attack and could even be a handy option with the bat down the order.
There are no such injury concerns from the Punjab camp as their first XI are fit and should be available for selection for their first match. Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Dawid Malan, Fabian Allen, Jalaj Saxena, Saurabh Kumar, Utkarsh Singh were all picked in auction this year and it would be interesting to see the kind of combination they go ahead with this year.
It was a contrasting season for both these teams last year in the Indian T20 League. While Punjab had got off to a poor start in the tournament and then stitched a few wins together to keep the hope of qualification alive, Rajasthan had a relatively good start before not being able to find a way to win matches. In the end, both the teams could not make it to the final four. Moreover, Rajasthan finished last and Steve Smith was removed as the captain of the team.
However, in a fresh start to 2021, both teams would not want to give an inch away to the opposition. While Punjab seemed to have great depth as well as options in their squad now, Rajasthan would also believe that their key players put up a rather consistent show this year and not run out of form into the second half of the league stage. Both teams could also have to sort out their batting orders with plenty of options available at their disposal. But given how Punjab played when they got it going for them last year and the experience of KL Rahul as captain, Punjab have a slight advantage.
Probable Playing XI
Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes (wk), Sanju Samson (c), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, Mustafizur Rahman/Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat
KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan/Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques, Mandeep/Sarfaraz, M Ashwin/Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Jhye Richardson
Wicketkeepers: KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Nicholas Pooran
Batsmen: Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle
All-rounders: Ben Stokes, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Moises Henriques, Chris Morris
Bowlers: Mohammed Shami, Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi
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