Punjab Kings lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first match of a rare week-day doubleheader on Wednesday, 21st April, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Both teams have endured bad starts to their campaigns, with PBKS securing one win from their three games, while SRH have zero.
Punjab lost by six wickets to the Delhi Capitals after being put in to bat on a batting track at the Wankhede. They scored 195/4 in their 20 overs, courtesy of a blitzkrieg from Mayank Agarwal and a rather fortunate 51-ball 61 from skipper KL Rahul on his birthday.
The total didn't prove enough on the night as Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan went hard at the PBKS bowlers right from the start. Dhawan kept going even after Shaw's dismissal and had virtually finished the game by the time he was dismissed. It was another sub-par bowling performance from the Punjab Kings, with Mohammed Shami having a rare failure.
They may need to rethink their team combination, especially since they'll now be playing in Chennai.
The lack of depth in their batting order has hurt the Sunrisers in their opening games. They have batted second in all their games so far, and in the absence of Kane Williamson, they lacked the composure to finish off games.
The Sunrisers conceded a couple of costly boundaries towards the end against MI to mar a solid bowling performance. Despite getting off to a flyer with the bat, they succumbed to some disciplined bowling in the middle overs from the Mumbai Indians and fell short of the target by 13 runs.
SRH need to figure out a way to get Kane Williamson back in their team and will need their star Indian players in Manish Pandey and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to step up.
Both these teams will want to win this all-important game to inject some much-needed momentum into their respective campaigns. Given the firepower present in both camps, we can expect a cracker of a contest in Chennai.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs. SRH Match Details
Date: 21st April 2021 (Wednesday).
Time: 3:30 PM IST.
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
It should be a hot and dry afternoon in Chennai with an average temperature of 32 degrees celsius. No rain interruptions should occur.
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The wicket at Chepauk in the last afternoon game was more conducive for the batsmen, and both teams will hope that it plays out the same way again. That said, the wicket should still be on the slower side, and pace-off should work, especially in the death overs.
The Punjab Kings need to get their combination right for this game. Moises Henriques should come in for Nicholas Pooran, who has had a bad start to the tournament. Henriques is a solid batsman and a clever sixth bowling option with his subtle changes of pace.
Chris Jordan could replace Riley Meredith in the side, considering the slowness of the wicket and Jordan's better T20 experience. They could also bring back one of Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin for the game.
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (C/WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran/ Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen/ Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin/ Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, and Arshdeep Singh.
Getting Kane Williamson back in the team should be the first order of business for SRH. However, Jonny Bairstow's good form should see him retain his place in the side. Natarajan should return to the side after missing the Sunrisers' last game because of a niggle, while Kedar Jadhav could get a look-in due to his experience as a finisher.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Jonny Bairstow (WK), David Warner (C), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson/ Mohammad Nabi, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav/ Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, and T Natarajan.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs. SRH Match Prediction
While SRH have the knowledge and experience of playing on this surface, they still don't have the batting depth to cope if some wickets fall. The PBKS bowlers should find it easier at Chepauk, and if their batsmen fire, they should get their second win of the campaign in this match.
Prediction: Punjab Kings to win.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs. SRH TV and Live Streaming Details
TV: Star Sports Network.
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP.