On Monday 12 April, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will play their first match against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Mumbai. Rajasthan has faced Punjab 21 times in the IPL since 2008, holding a 12-9 win-loss advantage. RR wasn’t part of the tournament in 2016 and 2017 due to a two-year betting ban.
IPL’s most expensive player of all time Chris Morris will be on display and facing a huge challenge when Rajasthan Royals take on Punjab Kings in their opening encounter of this season on Monday (April 12). RR’s biggest problem is the lack of support to overseas pace bowlers.
First, lets have a look on Probable Playing XI of both the teams :
Ben Stokes, Yashasvi Jaiswal/Liam Livingstone, Sanju Samson (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Andrew Tye/Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (C and WK), Chris Gayle/Dawid Malan, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan/Deepak Hooda, Mandeep Singh/Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan/Fabian Allen, Jhye Richardson/Riley Meredith, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami
Best Choice for Wicketkeepers:
Jos Buttler played well in the recently-concluded T20I series against India and he scored two half-centuries in 5 games, which included a sublime knock of 83 at a strike rate of almost 160.
KL Rahul has been out of touch lately in the T20I format, but in the ODI series against England, he smashed 170+ runs in just 3 games.
Best Choice for Batsmen:
Mayank Agarwal was outstanding for the erstwhile Kings XI Punjab in the last edition of this competition. He was a part of the fantasy Dream Team in all of his last 5 IPL games, having scored 25+ runs in 3 of those matches.
Chris Gayle’s selection in the team doesn’t require any justification. He might not have been on song in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, but in his last two Pakistan Super League 2021 games, he scored 100+ runs.
Best Choice for All-Rounders:
Chris Morris might have been sold for a hefty price tag, but since he is a player that bowls at the death and is also a great finisher, the price tag is justified. His bat hasn’t made much noise recently, but in his last 5 T20 games, he has picked up 5 wickets, while also being economical in 4 of those matches.
Ben Stokes was always going to be a points-magnet in this format, and with reports suggesting that he will open the innings, he will be a popular captain as well. He picked up 2 wickets and scored 60 runs in his last two T20Is.
Best Choice for Bowlers:
Jhye Richardson did decently in the series against New Zealand. In his last 5 T20I matches, he has picked up 4 wickets. He conceded more than 35 runs in only one of those games. He has also a stunning Big Bash League season.
Another Aussie pacer who can be instrumental in this game is Andrew Tye. The Rajasthan pacer has picked up 8 wickets in his last 5 T20 matches, all of which were for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.
Best Choice for Captain and Vice-Captain:
KL Rahul (C) has been out of touch lately in the T20I format, but in the ODI series against England, he smashed 170+ runs in just 3 games.
Sanju Samson (VC) is the best choice for Vice- captain.
And here we have Suggested Playing XI for RR vs PBKS Dream 11 Cricket:
Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (C), KL Rahul (C), Mayank Agarwal, Liam Livingstone, Mandeep Singh, Ben Stokes, Chris Morris, Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson