Indian Super League 2021 Match 4
Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings – April 12th
Rajasthan languished at the bottom in the last edition. They face a difficult task to develop on that contemplating they have lost Jofra Archer to injury. Whether he plays at all in this edition of IPL remains a question.
A fragile bowling attack was their primary problem, so losing Archer is a significant blow. It stacks pressure on Chris Morris, the priciest IPL signing ever, to step up. They will also want Jaydev Unadkat to revive the historical form.
Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are likely to open, although how long that persists is another question. Buttler may be required to help out in a failing middle-order once again.
Possible playing XI: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Karthik Tyagi.
Punjab is the place outsiders for their first-ever trophy. A play-off spot would be a good performance seeing their crazy unpredictability. They either take off like a plane or are pushed into the sidelines. Or vice versa. In the last edition, they were horrible initially before playing a late rally and dropping one win short of the top four.
Decent work has been done in the auction to fix a leaky bowling line-up. Jhye Richardson is an exceptional catch, while there are high expectations for Ishan Porel. Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi are good spinners. The top four is perfect, with Nic Pooran likely to produce game-changing knocks and KL Rahul the most reliable opener around.
Possible playing XI: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques, Jhye Richardson, Mohammad Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, M Ashwin, Arshdeep Nath.
The venue, Pitch Report, and Toss Prediction:
The Wankhede wicket looked quite good for batting on Saturday, keeping accurate for Capitals to chase 189 with seven wickets to save. Although it has been marginally easier to bat first considering the strike rates, it lived up to its status. In IPL, a first-innings total of 175 or more has been broken seven times in the last nine games at this venue. In other domestic T20 leagues, 175 or more has been broken 13 times out of 25.
This is a big check for that Rajasthan Royals bowling line-up. They were the costliest team at the death overs last season. The speedsters should get some help early on with the new ball, after which variations will be crucial. Likewise, spin bowlers will also have their call in the game, with sufficient turn available off the wicket.
And as the usual fashion, at Wankhede, skippers will want to bat second on winning the toss.
Rajasthan Royals are with the odds of 1.76, whereas Punjab Kings is at 1.95. The gap is pretty small, and the market is unsure of what to make of this contest.
This competition between Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals is relatively new but is as extreme as any. The two sides have often delivered entertaining games, and we anticipate it to stay the same this time as well.
Both are packed with swaggering batters who can all clear the boundaries with astonishing ease. Compared to the two teams on paper, Rajasthan Royals seem to be a marginally better-composed side with the additions of all-rounders in Chris Morris, Ben Stokes, and Rahul Tewatia.