Two bottom half teams Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals will take on each other in match number 32 of the Indian Premier League 2021. With a superior batting lineup, Punjab will have an upper hand against sixth placed Rajasthan, who are set to miss the services of Buttler, Archer and Stokes.
It will be interesting to see if Punjab Kings give a place to Nathan Ellis and he plays a part in partially resolving the bowling worries. Also, Punjab needs a death-over specialist in their team. KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami might turn out to be the biggest positives for the team. Both are coming in the match on the back of brilliant performances in England Test series. Rahul scored a hundred at Lord's and is expected to exhibit class with the bat, whereas, Shami will also look to sharpen his T20 skills ahead of the T20 World Cup. Punjab Kings are placed seventh in the points table with 6 points from 8 games.
For Rajasthan Royals, Glen Philips and Tabraiz Shamsi are the new replacements. Shamsi is a consistent performer in T20 cricket and his arrival will give a good spin option to the team. Evin Lewis and Liam Livingstone are the other replacements. The arrival of new replacements will help the team but a weak Indian core in the batting lineup is still a flaw to address for the Royals. Sanju Samson should step to the occasion and lead the team with his batting performance. Bowling is a strong area for the Royals with multiple left-hand pace bowlers and a variety of spinners.
Punjab Kings - L W L W L
Two victories in the last five games is a worrisome sign and Punjab Kings need to show some more consistency to qualify for the playoffs. Only once in these five matches, Punjab scored a total of more than 170 runs. The batting lineup needs to strike together if at all they want to move ahead on the points table from their current seventh position ranking.
Rajasthan Royals - W L W L L
Rajasthan Royals also have two victories in the last five games. Their batting order hasn’t settled down and the absence of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler could hurt them more. Head to head Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings have played against each other 22 times out of which Rajasthan won 12 encounters. The other 10 fixtures were won by Punjab Kings. The average score for Rajasthan against Punjab is 172 while Punjab has an average total of 169 against Rajasthan. Punjab has won more matches while chasing and Rajasthan won more fixtures when they batted first. Sanju Samson has scored 525 runs against Punjab while Rahul has scored 441 runs against Rajasthan. Mohammed Shami has picked 7 wickets against Rajasthan.
BONS Punjab Kings Predicted XI
BONS Rajasthan Royals Predicted XI
Press Conference Quote RR “I would like to say that I have the biggest match-winner sitting alongside me. So, I don’t have any worries. There is no pressure. We all love and enjoy playing with Chris. With Chris in our side, I feel that happy days are ahead of us,” Samson told reporters at a virtual press conference, which was also attended by ‘Million Dollar Baby’ Chris Morris.
“My role as an experienced player is to keep the guys calm. I will stand at mid-on or mid-off and have a chat with the other bowlers. If I pick something up, I will relay the message to Sanju. I have been doing this role for the whole of my career. Irrespective of whether the other experienced guys are there or not in the team, I do it. I will definitely help Sanju,” Morris said.
BONS Match Prediction
Punjab Kings will enter the match as favourites as their batting lineup is far superior to that of Rajasthan Royals. In the bowling department as well, the experience of Mohammed Shami can cause problems for Rajasthan batsmen. In the absence of the English trio of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer the Royals will feel the heat in UAE.
The match will be played at Dubai International Stadium and from what we saw in the first match there will be assistance for pace bowlers early in the innings. There was a tinge of grass on the surface. The match will not be a very high scoring one but one can expect around 150-160 runs on this surface. The surface can provide us some breathtaking spells from any of the quality pacers from both teams. Winning the toss and batting first will be a good decision if there is no dew factor as the ball will get more movement under the lights.
Match - Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021 Match 32
Date - 21 September 2021
Time - 7:30 PM IST
Venue - Dubai International Stadium, Dubai