Punjab Kings poised to rise again over post venue change

KL Rahul’s team will play their first afternoon game on Wednesday in the 2021 VIVO IPL.

After a run of one win and two losses, Punjab Kings will hope that a change in venue brings about a change in fortunes, as they prepare for their first game at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League. Anil Kumble’s team prepare for their first afternoon game in this season’s IPL, as they are set to take on winless Sunrisers Hyderabad in the early game on Wednesday.

Aamne Saamne

Punjab Kings

Sunrisers Hyderabad

5 wins

11 wins

Sunrisers Hyderabad have the better head-to-head record, but it was Punjab Kings who won the last encounter between these two sides. KL Rahul’s team got a win in their opening game, while Sunrisers Hyderabad are yet to open their account for IPL 2021. Both sides are searching for form in these early stages of the competition, and a win on Wednesday could help them get on the right track. 

Batting de Baadshah

KL Rahul

Jonny Bairstow

157 runs

110 runs

 Three games into the tournament, Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul already has two fifties to his name. The 28-year-old has found his form straight away, and with fellow opener Mayank Agarwal also getting a big score under his belt against Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings fans would be optimistic for another big score. 

Jonny Bairstow top scored for Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous game, and his team were a tad unfortunate to end up on the losing side despite that strong start from the Englishman. Fellow opener David Warner has also made a positive start to his IPL season once again, and Punjab Kings bowlers will have to dismiss these two early to augment their chances of a win. 

Bowling de Kings

Arshdeep Singh

Rashid Khan

5 wickets

4 wickets

Arshdeep Singh has been one of the bright sparks for Punjab Kings this season. The left-arm pacer delivered a brilliant over under pressure to win his team the game against Rajasthan Royals a while back, and has continued to be amongst the wickets in the games that have followed. Arshdeep has shown great game awareness and variation in his bowling, making it deceptively difficult for batsmen to score runs off him so far. 

Once again Rashid Khan is amongst the wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad, as the Afghani spinner has maintained his consistency despite his team’s dismal start to IPL 2021. The leg spinner boasts an economy rate of under six this year, and Punjab Kings batsmen will hope to play him out shrewdly come Wednesday. 

Mudde di Baat

Three games in, both sides find themselves on the wrong end of the table but a win nevertheless could do wonders to restart their campaigns. It is still early days in the 2021 IPL, and both sides would be targeting this match to get a win under their kitty and build some momentum going forward. 

For Punjab Kings, the Chennai surface could suit them better as it gives them a chance to explore their spin assets like Ravi Bishnoi, Jalaj Saxena and Saurabh Kumar. Secondly, with many talented Indian batsmen in their top-order, they would be optimistic to play out opposition spinners with ease. 

Yaad Rakhiyo

  • Sunrisers Hyderabad have lost their opening three games for the first time in the IPL.
  • Punjab Kings defended their lowest ever score in their IPL history in their last game against SRH. 
  • KL Rahul is one six away from completing 200 sixes in T20 cricket. 

Probable XI

KL Rahul (c and wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.

Punjab Kings could give a chance to their two Englishmen in this game, with misfiring Nicholas Pooran and Riley Meredith sitting this one out. Apart from that, they’d look to continue playing Jalaj Saxena as the primary spinner, with Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh Khan as auxiliary support. 

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.

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