The cricket that Punjab Kings play belongs to the world of dreaming anything is possible. In the IPL 2020, Punjab Kings were in a strong position against Rajasthan Royals, only for Rahul Tewatia to turn their world upside down with a game-turning fifty. A few months later, against the same side, RR seemed to have a slight edge. In the final over, Arshdeep Singh threw a spanner in the works and RR succumbed to a gut-wrenching loss. PBKS – The unpredictable entertainers of IPL.
The PBKS camp would hope for more of plain sailing when they take on Chennai Super Kings in their second fixture in the furnace of Wankhede. On paper, it is a cabinet filled with no trophies versus three IPL trophies. However, CSK’s form of late hasn’t exactly been great. The franchise also began IPL 2021 on a shaky note, losing to Delhi Capitals. More importantly, on a typical Wankhede surface, offering even bounce, CSK seemed to be lacking a pace-enforcer. Despite Suresh Raina returning to the CSK set-up with an aggressive hand, the Chennai camp would be a tad concerned about their top-order woes as well.
Meanwhile, PBKS would be hoping for their Australian recruits – Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith – to improve on their below par show in the opening game. Even though the conditions favoured the batsmen at the Wankhede, Richardson and Meredith were guilty of bowling quite a few of their deliveries in the slot.
When: PBKS vs CSK, April 16, 2021, 19:30 IST
Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
The track at the Wankhede Stadium is a mixture of red and yellow soil with enough clay content. So one expects even bounce and high-scoring games in the abridged versions of the game. The pacemen too find some assistance. In RR’s second fixture against DC, pace bowlers from both sides generated a hint of swing and extracted movement off the seam. The dew factor could also come into play.
The head-to-head record is in favour of CSK, especially since 2015, with the Chennai franchise winning 6 of their 8 encounters against PBKS in that period. CSK also won both their encounters against PBKS in the last IPL.
Even though Chahar doesn’t have the added advantage of possessing the left-arm angle, he would look to generate a bit of movement upfront at the Wankhede. One of the interesting match-ups is Faf du Plessis against Mohammed Shami. The former South Africa skipper has scored at a strike rate of 200 against Shami in the IPL. Shami tended to bowl a fuller length in the last IPL against du Plessis.
The experienced campaigner duly took advantage of the fuller length deliveries by manufacturing room to tonk through the off-side, or walking across the stumps to whip via the midwicket region with his bottom-handed grip coming into play. Another interesting point to note is Dwayne Bravo has dislodged Chris Gayle seven times in T20s.
“The field was set, the plan was to make Samson play wider, the plan was to bowl wide yorkers to Samson,” Arshdeep had said after restricting the Rajasthan skipper in their opening game. Incidentally, the same bowler had employed the round the wicket angle and bowled into the wicket against a string of right-handers to run through Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting order in the end overs in the last IPL.
The two spells indicate he is a quick-learner and bowls to a field that is set in the death overs. In the upcoming game against CSK, he could run into a couple of left-handed batsmen – Sam Curran and Ravi Jadeja – lower down the order. It would be interesting to see the angle that he uses against the batting duo. On the batting front, one of the match-ups to watch out for is KL Rahul versus Deepak Chahar upfront. Despite Chahar possessing the ability to swing it both ways, he has never dismissed Rahul in the IPL.
Punjab look set to continue with the winning combination. Even though the think-tank could be tempted to bring in Chris Jordan for one out of Meredith or Richardson.
Probable XI: KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.
Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad/Robin Uthappa, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c, wk), Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.
Punjab Kings Squad: KL Rahul(w/c), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Moises Henriques, Mandeep Singh, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jalaj Saxena, Sarfaraz Khan, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Utkarsh Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Prabhsimran Singh, Harpreet Brar
Chennai Super Kings Squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Robin Uthappa, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mitchell Santner, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Hari Nishanth, N Jagadeesan, KM Asif, Harishankar Reddy, Bhagath Varma
Top performers in this fixture
|Highest run-getters||Runs scored|
|Suresh Raina (CSK 2008-2015, 2018-Present)||711|
|MS Dhoni (CSK 2008-2015, 2018-Present)||525|
|Faf du Plessis (CSK 2011-2015, 2018-Present)||481|
|Top-wicket takers||Wickets taken|
|Ravichandran Ashwin (CSK 2008-2015, PBKS 2018-2019, DC 2020-Present)||18|
|Dwayne Bravo (CSK 2011-2015, 2018-Present)||14|
|Albie Morkel (CSK 2008-2013)||12|
Stars from last season
|Highest run-getters||Runs scored|
|KL Rahul (PBKS 2018-Present)||670|
|Faf du Plessis (CSK 2008-2015, 2018-Present)||449|
|Mayank Agarwal (PBKS 2018-Present)||424|
|Top wicket-takers||Wickets taken|
|Mohammed Shami (PBKS 2018-Present)||20|
|Sam Curran (CSK 2020-Present)||18|
|Ravi Bishnoi (PBKS 2020-Present)||13|
OTHER GL PICK
R UTHAPA (IF PLAY)