Ahmedabad: The Punjab Kings (PBKS) will battle Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in IPL 2021’s 21st game.
The Punjab side led by KL Rahul started the IPL 2021 campaign after defeating Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 4 runs but later they couldn’t keep their winning form and went down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Capitals (DC) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) before finally returning to winning ways in their last match.
Punab Kings’ skipper KL Rahul has been one of the few consistent performers in the strong-looking Punjab batting unit. He has scored three half centuries in five games. His opening partner, Mayank Agarwal has shown quality batting but has failed to convert into big. Punjab contingent must be happy as the 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle is back with his original form. Talking about Deepak Hooda, who has impressed in one of the games need to pull up his socks. Another batsman in the lineup is Nicholas Pooran who has been out on 0 for three times in the tournament so far will be under scanner. All eyes are set on whether Punjab will bring Dawid Malan, T20’s top batsman in the world against KKR.
Coming to the bowling side, the Punjab bowlers have shown pretty decent performances in the tournament but have not converted into match winning bowling. Talented Ravi Bishnoi and senior India pacer Mohammad Shami will lead the show while young Arshdeep Singh who has scalped six wickets so far will be the player to watch out for.
Talking about KKR, the Eoin Morgan-led side comes in the match after their defeat against Rajasthan Royals (RR). The World Cup winning captain needs to think differently if he wants side to bounce back in the tournament. KKR unit need a complete change in their batting lineup. Apart from Nitish Rana, other batsmen including skipper Morgan, Shubhman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik have failed poorly in the tournament so far. Andre Russell, Pat Cummins may reserve their place as the duo have shown some exceptional performances.
Sunil Narine was brought back in the squad boost some power hitting but the West Indian has not failed to impress with his bat as well as with the bowl. Lockie Ferguson could replace Sunil Narine and Tim Seifert may also make his KKR debut against PBKS on Monday.
PBKS, with their winning momentum, start as the marginal favourites but no doubt KKR is two-time winners of the IPL.
PBKS: KL Rahul (C/WK), Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson/ Fabian Allen, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh
KKR: Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine/ Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna