Two teams who returned to winning ways, yet find themselves in opposite ends of the tunnel, Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals face each other in Match 29 of the IPL 2021 on Sunday. The second game of another double-header will pit India teammates Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul, both of whom have quite a bit to prove in terms of captaincy.
As for PBKS, who are coming off a 34-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore two nights ago, the team looks set with the players showing form in the previous encounter. Although the composition of the team is mostly, the team will take stock of where Mayank Agarwal stands in terms of fitness. He may or may not be part of the Playing XI, and based on that, this is how the team may look like.
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1 KL Rahul (Capt): Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul is following every low score with an impactful knock. For the second time in the season, Rahul has scored 91 and with such stunning form behind him, don’t rule out the possibility of the PBKS captain becoming the third player to score a century this season today.
2 Mayank Agarwal: Rahul did not appear too concerned over Mayank’s injury when he missed the previous match. However, there has been no official update on how the batsman is holding up. If he recovers in time, Mayank is expected to walk into the Playing XI and if not, Prabhsimran Singh is likely to get another game.
3 Chris Gayle: It doesn’t matter where he bats, Universe Boss Chris Gayle has still got it. His whirlwind 46 off 24 balls was a treat to watch and many believe he was unfortunate to have his innings cut short before a fifty. However, rest assured, the big-hitting Jamaican will once against be targeting the bowlers, this time, from the DC camp.
4 Dawid Malan: With a fourth duck in IPL 2021, this should be the end of the road for Nicholas Pooran, at least for some time. Not sure about why PBKS are yet to hand a game to Dawid Malan but it’s about time he comes in and gives some solidarity in the middle order. After all, he is your No. 1 T20I player and it’s weird as to why PBKS would have him benched for so long.
5 Sarfaraz Khan: After beginning with an impressive half-century, Deepak Hooda has failed to replicate the same success in the subsequent matches, and his bowling remains a concern too. PBKS can take this opportunity to give young Sarfaraz Khan a game, who is a quality hitter and can produce some lusty blows as and when needed.
6 Shahrukh Khan: Time may be running out for Shahrukh Khan after the batsman was dismissed for a three-ball duck the other night. He has failed to live up to his reputation and another low score may see the door being shut on him.
7 Harpreet Brar: Punjab Kings unleashed their secret weapon Harpreet Brar against the in-form RCB and here’s how he responded – 25 runs and wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. Expect him to retain his place for the remainder of the season, let alone this next game.
8 Chris Jordan: Chris Jordan did not get a chance to bat, but he bowled well picking up 1/31. The England all-rounder should get another game at this stage in the tournament.
9 Riley Meredith: The fast Riley Meredith bowled perhaps one of the most menacing opening spells of fast bowling in the season, troubling Virat Kohli and castling Devdutt Padikkal’s off stump. He took a blow to his right knee and it remains to be seen whether he is fit enough to take the field.
10 Ravi Bishnoi: Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi continues to impress, not only with his bowling but also his catching. With Harpreet, Bishnoi would look to spin a web around the DC batsmen.
11 Mohammed Shami: Mohammed Shami will once again shoulder PBKS’ fast bowling responsibilities. Having hit Kohli twice on his body the other night it will be interesting to see his battle with fellow India teammates Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant.