IPL 2021: Chris Morris, key for Rajasthan Royals against Punjab Kings at Wankhede
RR under the leadership of Sanju Samson will battle mighty Punjab Kings who has KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal in their batting lineupImage source: The Bridge Chronicle

IPL 2021: Chris Morris, key for Rajasthan Royals against Punjab Kings at Wankhede

Indian Premier League’s (IPL) most expensive player in history, Chris Morris will come for Rajasthan Royals (RR) when they battle Punjab Kings in their opening encounter of IPL 2021

Mumbai: Indian Premier League’s (IPL) most expensive player in history, Chris Morris will come for Rajasthan Royals (RR) when they battle Punjab Kings in their opening encounter of IPL 2021 on Monday at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

With Jofra Archer missing from at least the first schedule of IPL 2021 amid injury, Morris will have to shoulder the responsibility of being his team's frontline bowler as RR will look to halt the action-packed batting of Punjab Kings.

Sanju Samson is set to become the sixth skipper of RR as he will lead the for the first time this Monday. However, RR's biggest problem worry is the lack of support to foreign pacers. Last year, Archer failed to get any support from others but this time though Morris should have the support of Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman. However, whether Rahman finds a place in the playing XI remains to be seen. With star-studded batting lineup Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Morris, RR will be hard-pressed to pick between Rahman, or other big-hitting batsmen like Liam Livingstone or David Miller.

"Sanju (Samson) and I will both agree that it's a big blow for us. Jofra is a very vital part of our make-up and not to have him is unfortunately the reality of it. We have to work around it and plan contingencies," Kumar Sangakkara, the Rajasthan Royals Director of cricket, told media in an interaction on Sunday.

Talking about their opponent, after playing the first 13 IPL seasons as the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), they have now rebranded themselves with: Punjab Kings (PBKS)

One name that automatically comes is their captain, KL Rahul, who was the Orange Cap winner last year. The skipper is definitely the biggest name in the team who has maintained his great consistency with the bat in the last three years, who scored 659, 593 and 670 runs respectively.

He and Mayank Agarwal could again be the backbone of Punjab’s batting. It will also be interesting to witness how Punjab balance their overseas quota of four players. They will play West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran but whether they will play Dawid Malan, top batsman in T20 Internationals, or not remains to be seen.

In the bowling, they have the pacers like Mohammed Shami, Ishan Porel, Jhye Richardson, Chris Jordan Arshdeep Singh and more. Spinners such as Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, all-rounder Jalaj Saxena will play a vital role.

PROBABLE LINE-UP

Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson (C), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Liam Livingstone, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (C/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Prabhsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi

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