The action continues at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Friday in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League, as Punjab Kings are set to take on the Chennai Super Kings. KL Rahul’s side managed to upstage Rajasthan Royals in their first game, and would be looking to make it two wins on the trot on Friday. MS Dhoni’s Chennai on the other hand fell significantly short in their opener against Delhi Capitals, and would be looking to turn that trend around against Punjab. 

Aamne Saamne

Punjab Kings

Chennai Super Kings

9 wins

14 wins

Chennai Super Kings have the better head-to-head record, but it is Punjab Kings who are the team in-form this season. KL Rahul’s team head into this game on the back of a win, while Chennai would be looking to make amends after losing their first game against Delhi. Secondly, the batting friendly conditions could be an advantage for Punjab Kings with that explosive top four of Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran. 

Batting de Baadshah

KL Rahul

Suresh Raina

91 runs

54 runs

KL Rahul started off IPL 2021 from where he left off last season, as he completely pulverized the Rajasthan Royals bowling attack in his first game. The Punjab Kings skipper continued his fine form at the Wankhede Stadium, adding 91 runs to support his previous scores of 94 and 100* at that venue. The franchise would surely be optimistic for Rahul to deliver once again come Friday. 

Suresh Raina made a good start on his return to competitive cricket after more than a year away from the game, getting a fifty for Chennai Super Kings against Delhi. The southpaw’s tremendous experience makes him a threat for all teams even now, despite being on the wrong side of age. 

Bowling de Kings

Arshdeep Singh

Shardul Thakur

3 wickets

2 wickets

Arshdeep Singh stole the show on Monday, delivering a match-winning last over for Punjab Kings against a raging Sanju Samson. The left-arm pacer would be full of confidence following that performance, and would be eager to repeat those heroics against a faltering Chennai side on Friday. 

Shardul Thakur managed to continue being amongst the wickets, as he claimed two scalps against Delhi Capitals, briefly giving his side a sniff in that game. If the Mumbai born pacer can better his economy rate and continue to deliver wickets at the same time, he could be a big threat in the 2021 IPL.

Mudde di Baat

Punjab Kings would be full of confidence after getting a win in their first game of the 2021 IPL. Chennai Super Kings on the other hand already have some catching up to do, and will be looking to make amends on Friday. 

Playing their first three games in Mumbai, Punjab Kings would hope to make the most of the short boundaries at the Wankhede Stadium, and get their explosive top four firing on all cylinders before they move base to the Chepauk Stadium. Secondly, the toss could play a crucial role in this game as both teams would fancy batting second in Mumbai. 

Yaad Rakhiyo

  • Punjab Kings defeated Chennai the last time they played each other at the Wankhede Stadium, in the 2014 IPL qualifier. 
  • KL Rahul needs just two more sixes to complete 50 sixes in T20 cricket. 
  • KL Rahul’s last three IPL scores at the Wankhede Stadium are 94, 100* and 91.

Probable XI

KL Rahul (c and wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Riley Meredith, Arshdeep Singh. 

Punjab Kings wouldn’t want to tinker too much from their winning combination, but would probably look to give Ravi Bishnoi a game instead of Murugan Ashwin, who proved expensive against Rajasthan. Apart from that, one wouldn’t anticipate other changes.

NOTE: The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.