Rajasthan Royals (RR) will begin their 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Monday at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Both teams ended their last season at the bottom half of the league table.
Since winning the title in 2008, Rajasthan have reached the Playoffs thrice, but never to the final. However, under newly-appointed skipper Sanju Samson, Rajasthan should be hopeful this time. KL Rahul’s Punjab, on the other hand, are still in search of their maiden IPL glory.
Rajasthan will miss the services of Jofra Archer, who recently had finger surgery and will not play at least the first four matches. Andrew Tye may replace him. Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat and INR-16.25-signing Chris Morris are likely to join Tye to form a four-pronged pace attack. Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are likely to be the other overseas cricketers.
Punjab, however, do have an injury-free squad before heading to the new season. The choice between the No. 1 T20I ranked batsman Dawid Malan and the Universe Boss Chris Gayle is going to be an interesting one for PBKS. Given the pace factor in Wankhede, both Ryan Meredith and Jhye Richardson may feature in the playing XI, alongside Mohammed Shami.
Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are highly dependable top-order options.
Ben Stokes and Chris Morris are undroppable fantasy T20 picks (we hope you already know that).
Shami, alongside Richardson and even the leggie Ravi Bishnoi can be handy with the wickets.
Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson (c), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, AJ Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
KL Rahul (vc)
Ben Stokes (c)