IPL 2021: Match 8 – PBKS vs CSK – Punjab Kings Predicted Playing XI

IPL 2021: Match 8 – PBKS vs CSK – Punjab Kings Predicted Playing XI

KL Rahul and Co have a bit to ponder about, especially in their bowling department.

Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Punjab Kings (PBKS) got off to a decent start in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) after their four-run win over the Rajasthan Royals (PBKS) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. KL Rahul and Co staved off a thunderstorm named Sanju Samson, who smashed a century.

Their next game is against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), captained by MS Dhoni, on Friday, April 16 at the same venue. On the head-to-head count, the Super Kings are leading the Punjab-based franchise by 15-9. But in Mumbai, PBKS have beaten CSK once, though back in 2014.

Their batting blazed away last time, but it was their bowling that came under the cosh. Though Rahul’s men have some thinking to do, it remains to be seen if they end up making a change to their playing eleven for the next encounter.

Here’s PBKS’s Predicted Playing XI for IPL 2021 Match 8:

Openers (Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (C and WK))

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal remain as the opening pair for PBKS. Agarwal didn’t have the outing he would have expected to in the previous game. The right-hander started with a couple of fours before falling prey to fast bowler Chetan Sakariya. Agarwal found an outside edge and Sanju Samson took a simple catch behind the stumps.

Going into the next game, Mayank would be hoping to make amends. Rahul, on the other hand, carried on from where he left in the IPL 2020. He was circumspect to start with, but he came into his own as he got the measure of the conditions.

He went on to score 91 runs off 50 balls with the help of seven fours and five sixes at a strike rate of 182. Moreover, for the fact that he has an average of 100 at the Wankhede, his team can hope for another substantial knock from him.

Middle-order (Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan)

Nicholas Pooran
Nicholas Pooran. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The middle-order is a blend of youth and experience. In Chris Gayle, PBKS have one of the most destructive batters in T20 cricket. The Jamaican looked decent against the Royals as he smashed a 28-ball 40 before Riyan Parag accounted for his wicket.

Punjab are also most likely to stick with Deepak Hooda at number four after he hammered a 28-ball 64 with four fours and six sixes. Nicholas Pooran bagged a golden duck last time around and he would be looking to turn his fortunes around. In Mumbai, the left-hander would be getting a batting paradise.

If PBKS lose a few early wickets, the southpaw might also be needed to play a long inning. Shahrukh Khan didn’t get much of a hit in the middle, but bearing in mind the skills he possesses, he’s likely to retain his place in the eleven.

Bowlers (Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami)

Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

In the last game, PBKS handed IPL debuts to the Australian pace duo of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith. Richardson, on one hand, went for 55 runs in his four overs. But the fact that he castled Jos Buttler with a clear slower delivery can’t be undermined by any means.

Meredith, on the other hand, started by conceding four fours on the trot, but then he returned with the wicket of Rahul Tewatia. Mohammed Shami returned after a four-month layoff after recovering from a forearm injury that he sustained on the tour of Australia.

He picked up two wickets and gave away only 33 runs in tough bowling conditions. Arshdeep Singh was the pick of the bowlers. Not only did he concede 35 runs and picked up three wickets, but also bowled brilliantly in the last over of the Royals’ run-chase.