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IPL 2021 - PBKS vs RR, Preview – Sanju Samson would expect to find his mojo

The 32nd match of the Indian Premier League is on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 and it is between the two teams Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) which are placed at sixth and seventh positions respectively in the points table. The match will be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.

IPL 2021, PBKSvsRR: KL Rahul's Punjab Kings will face Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 32nd match in Dubai.
KL Rahul's Punjab Kings will face Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 32nd match in Dubai. (Photo: BCCI/IPL)

Currently, RR is ranked number 6 in the points table with 3 wins in 7 matches while PBKS stands at the 7th position with 3 wins in 8 matches in this year’s tournament.

RR lead PBKS by 12-10 in H2H encounters

Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals have a slightly better record in games against Punjab Kings as they are leading with 12 wins as against their opponent’s tally of 10. Their last game was a final-over thriller in Mumbai with the Punjab Kings winning by four runs.

KL Rahul's Punjab Kings started off with a victory against the Rajasthan Royals in what was an epic game way back in April this year, just about managing to defend 221 despite Sanju Samson's majestic 119 on his captaincy debut. Since then, both teams have blown hot and cold, with the Royals only marginally better in terms of win percentage.

Replacements galore on the cards

There are plenty of replacements on the cards for both sides due to non-availability and injury to several players belonging to both contingents. But some of these can work in their favour looking at the current form and calibre of the available players in the ongoing tournament.

The number 1 ranked T20I bowler in the world - Tabraiz Shamsi, enters the Royals setup with a lot of confidence and wickets in his bag in the last few international games he has played for South Africa. The Punjab Kings have roped in Adil Rashid who has bowled effectively in both powerplays and the middle overs (while he was also the joint-highest wicket-taker in The Hundred), and could have a big role to play considering the conditions in the UAE.

Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith and Dawid Malan pulled out of the UAE leg of IPL 2021, with Punjab deciding to bring in Nathan Ellis, Adil Rashid and Aiden Markram as replacements for them.

Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Andrew Tye and Jofra Archer were unavailable for the Royals for the UAE leg, which prompted Rajasthan to bring in Evin Lewis, Oshane Thomas, Tabraiz Shamsi and Glenn Phillips.

Rajasthan Probable XI - Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Liam Livingstone, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Chetan Sakariya, Kartik Tyagi, Mustafizur Rahman/Tabraiz Shamsi

Punjab Kings Probable XI - KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle/Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Adil Rashid, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami

Pitch at DICS and Weather conditions

The pitch at Dubai International Cricket Stadium has always worked in favour of both batters and bowlers. It is usually a good track to bat on with more help for pacers and negligible help for spinners.

With hot and humid conditions in Dubai and no chance of rain, there is not much importance of the toss. Either you bat first or you bowl first, the pitch behaves the same through the 40 overs. But the double-paced nature of the wicket during the CSK-MI clash on Sunday could be a sign of things to come for the upcoming games in Dubai.


- Mustafizur Rehman (43) and Tabraiz Shamsi (41) are the second and third highest wicket-takers in T20Is in 2021, behind Rashid Khan's 49.

- Among those who faced at least 50 balls in Powerplay this season, only Ruturaj Gaikwad (91.8) and KL Rahul (96.4) strike at under 100. But Rahul is yet to be dismissed in the middle overs and has scored at a strike rate of 157 in the first phase of IPL 2021 in India.

"Match-readiness is probably going to be an issue. It was the same as last season in Dubai. Guys took a couple of games to get the rustiness out of their bones. But we are fortunate that some guys have been playing cricket, especially overseas players, and I have been in pre-season doing a lot of bowling. We had two warm-up games, so we spent some time on our feet. But yes, a few guys will struggle and that is natural as not everyone is playing cricket consistently," said Chris Morris, South African all-rounder from Rajasthan Royals.


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