PBKS vs RR IPL 2021 Preview - 21st Sept: New-look Rajasthan face top-heavy Punjab
Rajasthan Royals have been seriously hamstrung with the absence of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
Although they have roped in Glenn Phillips, Evin Lewis, Oshane Thomas and Tabraiz Shamsi, there are still some gaps to be filled.
Can Lewis and Livingstone do something special?
The major issue for Rajasthan has been their batting. If Lewis can provide them with the destructive starts which we have become so used to seeing, be it in the Caribbean Premier League or for West Indies, Rajasthan Royals will be in good stead. The team has the likes of Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia in the middle order to capitalise on good starts.
How Liam Livingstone fares will also be a major deciding factor for the side. Livingstone has been in red-hot form for around six months and RR will expect an encore of his exploits for England, in The Hundred and T20 Blast.
The presence of Lewis and Livingstone means that Glenn Phillips will have to warm the bench.
Morris and the Fizz, RR's leading pacers
Chris Morris had a decent outing in the first half, but given his importance in the Rajasthan side, he will be expected to improve upon his performances. Morris will find the company of Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman in the pace bowling department. Kartik Tyagi and Chetan Sarkariya are likely to be the Indian pacers in the Rajasthan attack.
With Rahul Tewatia an automatic pick, it will be interesting to see how Rajasthan make space for the in-form Tabraiz Shamsi.
Punjab captain KL Rahul did not miss out on a lot as the IPL was postponed shortly after he left the Punjab bubble to get his appendicitis treated. Rahul alongside Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle will form a deadly top 3.
The question remains on whether Deepak Hooda and Nicholas Pooran will be able to step up in the middle order. Shahrukh Khan will be in the role of the finisher.
Can PBKS play both Rashid and Bishnoi?
With Punjab having roped in Adil Rashid, they can consider playing him and Fabian Allen together alongside Ravi Bishnoi.
Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh are the leading pace bowlers for Punjab. New recruit Australian pacer Nathan Ellis might also find a spot.
Predicted playing XIs
Rajasthan Royals - Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (capt, wk), Liam Livingstone, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Kartik Tyagi/Jaydev Unadkat, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya
Punjab Kings - KL Rahul (capt, wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen/Adil Rashid, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami
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