IPL 2021 Match 4 – Rajasthan Royals v Punjab Kings Betting Preview
By Carl Lewis
IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals v Punjab Kings, Preview, Prediction, Probable Playing XIs and Value Bets
Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Monday, April 12th, 2021
16:00 SA Time
The fourth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will see Rajasthan Royals (RR) taking on Punjab Kings (PBKS) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. These two sides from North India have faced each other 21 times with Rajasthan Royals having a slight edge with 12 wins. In 2020, RR won both their matches against PBKS, one of which was a famous chase with the help of Rahul Tewatia’s epic knock. Both the teams have strengthened with a solid good auction in 2021. Although RR start as favourites, PBKS will give them a tough fight and a thriller could be on the cards.
Rajasthan Royals were the winners in the inaugural season of IPL way back in 2008. But since then, RR haven’t been able to replicate that success. They have also failed to make the playoffs in the last two editions. But this is a new RR and they have built one of the strongest teams in the league. Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Chris Morris is as good an overseas quartet as it gets. Morris’ addition has made RR one of the title contenders. This season, RR will play under the new leadership of Sanju Samson and will be hoping for a great result.
Punjab Kings formerly known as Kings XI Punjab, have also brought in some quality for the 2021 edition. PBKS acquired the likes of Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Fabian Allen, Shahrukh Khan in the auction which will add immense value to the side. Their top order comprising of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran is probably as destructive as any in the competition. The pace trio of Shami, Richardson, Meredith could prove to be a dangerous force. PBKS also have a quality spin duo in Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin.
Injury and Availability News
Rajasthan Royals’ Jofra Archer will be missing the first four matches at least due to the surgery on his right hand. Archer’s unavailability is a major blow for the franchise. On the other hand, Punjab Kings will have all their players available for the selection.
Probable Playing XI
Ben Stokes, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi
KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammad Shami
Pitch and Conditions
Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium is a terrific batting surface with some help for pace bowlers as well. The last three T20 seasons at this venue saw the average first innings score of over 170. Looking at the batting firepower in both the teams, we could be in for a proper run-fest.
Key Players to Watch Out For
Jos Buttler: England’s explosive batsman has been one of the best T20 openers in the world in recent years. Jos Buttler, known for his all-round batting skill set, has done a remarkable job at the top of the order for both England and RR. Buttler has an outstanding average of 42 and strikerate of 151 in T20s as an opener. Even if RR uses him in the middle order, Buttler can adapt.
Sanju Samson: The new captain of Rajasthan Royals despite loads of talent, has always struggled for consistency. Sanju Samson is one of the most stylish batsmen around and his single-minded intent makes him a very player for opposition teams. In IPL 2020, Samson scored 375 runs at an excellent strike rate of 159. The Kerala batsman has enjoyed a terrific run of form in domestic cricket of late. Samson also averages 42 and strikes at 154 at Wankhede Stadium.
KL Rahul: The Punjab Kings Skipper has been one of the top run-getters in IPL in recent years. KL Rahul won the Orange Cap in the 2020 edition but was heavily criticised for his below par scoring rate. KL Rahul has hit some form in the recently concluded England ODI series where he scored 177 runs in 3 innings with one hundred. Rahul has a sublime record at Wankhede Stadium with an average of 80.7 and a strikerate of 146.7.
Jhye Richardson: The Australia pace sensation was picked by PBKS for 14 crores in the 2021 IPL auction. Jhye Richardson had picked 29 wickets in the Big Bash League 2020-21. The most impressive part of his performance in BBL was that he was effective in all the phases of the game. Richardson should enjoy the Wankhede track which could offer him some early movement and extra bounce.
What Bets To Take
Jos Buttler/Ben Stokes to be RR’s top batsman at 3.60.
Chris Morris to be RR’s top bowler at 4.00.
KL Rahul to be PBKS’s top batsman at 2.90.
Mohammad Shami to be PBKS’s top bowler at 3.00.