Punjab Kings square off against Mumbai Indians in the 17th match of the 2021 season of the IPL and it will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on the 23rd of April, 2021. The match will commence at 7:30 PM IST and it will be telecasted on the Stars Sports. Hotstar will be streaming the game live as well.
A change of venue made no difference of the Punjab Kings (PBKS) as they crumbled to 120 allout and lost by nine wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad. That made it three losses on the bounce and pushed them to the bottom of the points table. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians (MI) who pulled out a couple of magnificent comebacks lost to Delhi Capitals (DC) making it a win-loss record of 2-2 in this tournament.
The batting hasn’t really come to the party for the 2014 finalists. If KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal fire, Punjab are well placed with the bat. Barring that one contribution from Deepak Hooda, the PBKS middle-order has struggled. The inclusion of Moises Henriques and Fabien Allen in the last game didn’t work either. Chris Gayle’s form is a huge cause of concern. The Universe Boss has struggled to get going in three out of the four games.
The bowling, on the other hand, looks a bit lost. They haven’t really looked threatening enough and seem to lack that bite. Mohammed Shami was good for a couple of games but he has been expensive. Arshdeep Singh has shown promise while the spinners who’ve played like Murugan Ashwin, Jalaj Saxena and Fabien Allen have combined to take a total of two wickets in four games.
Punjab have suffered a similar start like 2020 and time is running out. They need to pull up their socks quickly.
On the other hand, MI have batted first in four out of four games and seem to be setting themselves up really well. However, in each game, their middle-order has thrown away the advantage and has failed to build on the platform set by the top-order. Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav have done the bulk of the scoring so far this season. The likes of Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya have looked slightly out of sorts and have struggled on the slow Chepauk decks.
Mumbai’s bowling has been good overall. The spinners has stepped in really well in the middle overs, picking wickets and putting the brakes on the scoring rate. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have fared pretty well too. Thus, it’s just the middle-order that needs to fire for the defending champions.
Probable Playing XIs
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Dawid Malan/Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult
KL Rahul: In both the games that PBKS have racked up big totals, it was KL Rahul who set the tone. His strike-rate and intent may have been in question but the PBKS skipper has been supremely consistent with the runs he has got. On a sluggish Chepauk track, Punjab will need someone to bat through and get that big score and Rahul has the knack of getting big runs as well. Thus, the Karnataka lad will be one of the top captaincy options.
Rahul Chahar: Rahul Chahar can be punted upon as captain. The premier MI spinner has bowled really well in this tournament. Apart from the first game where he was smashed for 43 runs in his four overs, the leg-spinner has picked up eight wickets in the last three games. In the two games that MI won, he was the one who turned things around in the middle overs. In fact, he returned with figures of 4/27 and 3/19 in those two wins. Thus, with the Chepauk track likely to continue to assist the spinners, Chahar can be a good captaincy choice.
Fan2Play Fantasy Cricket Tips
KL Rahul, Rahul Chahar
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Rahul Chahar
KL Rahul, Fabien Allen, Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Hardik Pandya, Fabien Allen, Krunal Pandya, Shahrukh Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh
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