|Finished.217/7 (20) - 221/6 (20)|
Last year, the first match between these two teams ended up being one of the best IPL matches of all time. This year, both start the season having plenty to prove after making massive splurges during the auction. As the only captain to not have a fixed place in his country’s side, Samson will be eager to break into that, while KL Rahul will want to one-up him as the wicketkeeping spot is already contested between himself and Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant. In this battle between two keeper-captains, only one will come through with his head held high. Before the bails are put in place, let’s take a look at the two teams.
Full IPL squad
Sanju Samson (c/wk), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler (wk), Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaidev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat (wk), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahim, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh.
Rajasthan Royals predicted XI vs Punjab Kings
Sanju Samson (c/wk), Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Ben Stokes, Chris Morris, Jaidev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal, Shivam Dube.
Rajasthan Royals team preview and form
Taking over from Steven Smith last season, Sanju Samson will helm the Royals once again.
For batting, he will be joined by Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, David Miller, and fellow keeper Jos Buttler.
After a few incredible performances last year, Rahul Tewatia will be back to perhaps amaze us again with his all-round skills, accompanied by Ben Stokes and the most expensive man in the IPL this season, Chris Morris, among others.
With Jofra Archer injured, the Royals will undoubtedly struggle in the fast bowling department. With Jaidev Unadkat or Shivam Dube their only local full-timers and Mustafizur Rahman and Andrew Tye most likely not getting a chance initially, the burden will fall on Stokes and Morris. For spin, either Shreyas Gopal or Mayank Markande will be supported by Tewatia and Buttler/Livingstone depending on who plays.
With no playoff entries in the last two seasons, and an exit in the first Eliminator in the one before, RR will be all but dying for some success.
Rajasthan Royals key players vs Punjab Kings
Sanju Samson: We have a gut feeling that the Rajasthan captain will be in good form.
Ben Stokes: Stokes’ never say die attitude and love for cricket shows in his performances.
Shreyas Gopal: This might very well be Mayank Markande or even someone else entirely, but one of the full-time spinners will be effective.
Chris Morris: We hope for his sake that Morris can justify his absurd price tag.
Full IPL squad
KL Rahul (c/wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
Punjab Kings predicted XI vs Rajasthan Royals
KL Rahul (c/wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Dawid Malan, Mandeep Singh, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Utkarsh Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Jhye Richardson, Mohammad Shami.
Punjab Kings team preview and form
For PBKS’ sake, we hope that their captain has finally learned that strike rate is not, in fact, overrated.
It’s a tough call to make between Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, and Dawid Malan, but Pooran will most likely be benched because of Gayle’s form last season. Henriques, being arguably the better foreign all-rounder compared to Fabian Allen, will get a pass and Jhye Richardson is preferable to Riley Meredith on paper.
Among locals, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, and Shahrukh Khan should be the prime run getters.
Ravi Bishnoi, Utkarsh Singh, and Murugan Ashwin will have to shine as Punjab’s spin options, with the aforementioned Richardson and Meredith getting help from Mohammad Shami.
After failing to qualify for 6 consecutive years, the Kings will be looking to make the playoffs at any cost.
Punjab Kings key players vs Rajasthan Royals
KL Rahul: Rahul will most likely score some good runs. It’s only a question of how rapidly he will score them.
Chris Gayle: This might be Nicholas Pooran, but in any case, one of the West Indian sloggers should go big.
Jhye Richardson: The Aussie phenomenon should love the Mumbai pitch.
Mohammad Shami: It will be interesting to see how Shami bounces back from his wrist injury.
Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals pitch report and weather conditions
As we saw in the match between DC and CSK, the Wankhede Stadium pitch is as good a batting pitch as ever. Only the most cunning bowlers will be able to stop the flow of runs - with fast bowlers especially enjoying the bounce. The team batting first should aim for 190 or more, depending on their bowling lineup.
Although on the hot side, the weather in Mumbai will otherwise be great for cricket, with little to no chance of rain, a pleasant breeze, and below-average humidity.
Can the Royals put last year’s failure behind and push for a better season? Or will the Kings’ investment in the auctions pay off? Find out if our RR vs PBKS predictions come true on Monday!
|RR Top Batsman:|
|PBKS Top Batsman:|
|RR Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|PBKS Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|S Samson/B Stokes (RR), KL Rahul/C Gayle (PBKS)|