PBKS Vs RR, Match Preview
Hitters on the horizon leave the bowlers no place to hide in the upcoming fixture. With massive strikers like KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran on one side, and Samson, Livingstone and Lewis on the other, a lot of sixers are likely.
Liam Livingstone in particular could use the second leg to announce himself in the IPL. He was unstoppable in the Hundred, drawing parallels to Virat Kohli’s 2016 season. His recent T20 form has been good. Livingstone has found ways to rediscover his batting form in the last few months.
On the other hand, KL Rahul beckons. Rahul has been criticized in the past for his slow strike-rate, but his hitting ability is not to be taken lightly. He is one of the more consistent players in the IPL, and has developed into a T20 monster in the last few seasons.
PBKS Vs RR, Team News
The Rajasthan Royals have lost a lot of players through the first leg. They are known to rely on a core group of English players, but will now be without three of their crucial English stars. Jos Buttler is the recent loss, and comes as big one as he is an integral part of the side. In his place though, the Royals have brought in Evin Lewis. Lewis has been in good form in the CPL, and is an explosive opener. He has done well in the IPL before, and will be hoping to remind the IPL of his excellence.
The Kings have lost Dawid Malan with the bat, and a good amount of fire power with the ball. Jhye Richardson, and Riley Meredith have opted out, leaving them short of a couple of out and out pacers. They brought in Nathan Ellis, who did well on debut, and Adil Rashid. The batting line-up continues to be reliant on the top-order, and Pooran’s form will be crucial. He struggled in the first leg, but is back in some form, after runs in the CPL.
PBKS Vs RR, Predicted XIs
Punjab Kings: 1 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Deepak Hooda, 5 Nicholas Pooran, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Fabian Allen/Adil Rashid, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Arshdeep Singh, 10 Nathan Ellis, 11 Mohammed Shami
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Liam Livingstone, 5 Riyan Parag, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Rahul Tewatia, 9 Kartik Tyagi, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Chetan Sakariya/Jaydev Unadkat
PBKS Vs RR, Players to Watch out for
Liam Livingstone was on another plane in The Hundred. He brought the new format to life with intense batting. His performance drew parallels with Virat Kohli’s, in 2016, and there are now a lot of expectations on the English batter. With Buttler out, and Stokes injured, Livingstone could play a key role. His middle-order performance will be very crucial to the side’s success. His bowling could come in handy as well, as Rajasthan’s spinners struggled in the first leg.
Mohammad Shami has been in brilliant form of late. If not for a broken arm in Australia, the bowler could have found a place on top of the wicket-charts this year. He has looked good on any surface, and his pace has improved along with his control. Last season, his bowling was crucial in the UAE, as KXIP struggled with their pace bowling. They tried a lot of foreign pacers, but Shami came into his own with the ball. He held the pace attack together, silently picking up crucial wickets, and executed his Yorkers to perfection in the death over. He was among the top wicket-takers and comes into this game as a key bowler for the Kings.
PBKS Vs RR, Pitch and Conditions
Dubai seemed a little slow in the first game. The ball kept low occasionally, spinners found some grip, and the pacers enjoyed bowling on the track in the game between Chennai and Mumbai. A score of 156 was defended, and batting up front looked difficult. Batting did however get easier as the innings went on, and the surface looked easier for set batters. With a balance in the surface, chasing may be a better option, despite the result of the first game in Dubai.