IPL 2021: Punjab Kings Predicted Playing XI Against Rajasthan Royals

IPL 2021: Punjab Kings Predicted Playing XI Against Rajasthan Royals

PBKS didn't have the best of campaigns in the IPL 2021 first leg and they'll be looking to string together some wins.

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

Punjab Kings have strained in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. Being placed at sixth in the points table, the KL Rahul-led PBKS has plenty of work to do if they want to qualify for the playoffs. Prior to the second leg in the UAE, Dawid Malan, one of their key batters, pulled out.

Hence, they had to rope in South African right-hander Aiden Markram to fill in the Englishman’s void. Adil Rashid’s inclusion means PBKS now have three leg-spinners in their ranks. The Punjab-based team has also picked right-arm pace bowler Nathan Ellis as one of the replacements.

Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson, who both played in the first leg, won’t be a part for the rest of the tournament. PBKS have been involved in some close contests against the Royals in the last 12 months.

Here’s the PBKS Predicted XI for the PBKS vs RR match

Openers- KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal

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

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are set to return as PBKS’ opening pair. Rahul missed the franchise’s previous game against Delhi Capitals after he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. However, he’s up and running and is in decent form.

Rahul is also the leading run-scorer for Punjab as he has mustered 331 runs from seven matches at an average of 66.20 with as many as four fifties. Agarwal, on the other hand, has been the apt foil for Rahul in the last two seasons. The right-hander has scored 260 runs at an average of 43.33.

Moreover, he’ll be high on confidence as he scored an unbeaten 58-ball 99 against the Capitals. Agarwal captained in that game in Rahul’s absence. If Rahul and Agarwal get going, then the Royals could end up finding themselves in a lot of trouble.

Middle-order- Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The middle-order of PBKS has a lot of firepower. However, it can be a tad brittle at times. Chris Gayle didn’t quite have the best of campaigns for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 2021 CPL. Even in the 2021 IPL, the Jamaican hasn’t lived up to his reputation, scoring 178 runs at an average of 25.42.

Left-handed batter Nicholas Pooran had a forgettable outing in the first leg of IPL 2021. In six innings, he scored 28 runs and bagged as many as four ducks. But he gained back some form after playing some decent knocks for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL.

He also captained the team to the semi-final where they lost to the Patriots. Deepak Hooda can also use the long handle to good effect. In the first leg, he scored 64 against the Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

All-rounder- Moises Henriques, Harpreet Brar

Harpreet Brar
Harpreet Brar. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Moises Henriques didn’t have the best of outings in the first leg of the tournament. In the three games he played, the Sydney Sixers’ cricketer scored only 16 runs at a strike rate of 80. With the ball, he picked up one wicket, but at an excellent economy rate of 4.80, the best among PBKS’ bowlers.

Harpreet Brar isn’t among the most popular names, but he’s a utility cricketer. In the first leg, the left-arm spinner picked up four wickets at an economy rate of 5.42.

In a game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, he scored an unbeaten 17-ball 25 and picked up three wickets in four overs.

Bowlers- Adil Rashid, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh

Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Mohammad Shami and Arshdeep Singh have carried Punjab’s bowling for the last two seasons. In the ongoing edition, they haven’t disappointed by any means. Shami is their leading wicket-taker with eight scalps at an economy rate of 8.16.

Arshdeep, on the other hand, has seven wickets to his name and also bowled the last over against the Royals where he got rid of Sanju Samson. In the first half of the IPL 2021, PBKS mostly preferred Murugan Ashwin ahead of Ravi Bishnoi. But later Bishnoi got into the team and bowled well.

In four games, he accounted for as many wickets at an economy rate of 6.18. The PBKS bowling will also be bolstered with Adil Rashid’s inclusion. Rashid was impressive in the inaugural edition of the Men’s Hundred and he’ll be looking to carry his form.