IPL 2021, PBKS Predicted XI vs KKR: Time for Punjab Kings to promote Chris Gayle
- Punjab Kings' batting showed a semblance of hope the other night against five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, but it is in need of some fine-turning.
Punjab Kings broke their three-match losing streak with a confident win over Mumbai Indians. The victory against the defending champions promises to augur well for KL Rahul and his team, who would be keen to build on their result from the other night. As they feel battered and bruised Kolkata Knight Riders, who have now lost four games in a row, PBKS have the opportunity to get a few things right, right certain wrongs. (IPL 2021 Full Coverage)
Their batting showed a semblance of hope the other night against the five-time IPL champions, but it is in need of some fine-turning. Not much, just some shuffling should do. Keeping that in mind, here's a look at the 11 players we think PBKS would include for the KKR tie.
1 KL Rahul (Captain/WK): As if getting loads of runs in the previous three seasons wasn't enough, KL Rahul has begun IPL 2021 on a similar note, having struck three half-centuries. He may not be scoring his runs at a blistering pace, but as much as it's proving to be effective, there should be no complaints.
2 Chris Gayle: It's time PBKS made an alteration to their batting order by promoting Chris Gayle to open the innings with the skipper. Gayle is no longer the bombastic batsman he used to be, but his calculations still make him a dangerous batsman. The more balls Gayle faces, the more destructive he becomes, and with Rahul and Mayank Agarwal batting out most of the opening few overs, it dents Gayle's chances to go big in the latter stages.
3 Mayank Agarwal: Mayank Agarwal has gotten starts, but hasn't been able to capitalise. Moreover, his form seems to have hit a bit of a lull, which is why him batting at No. 3 may not be a bad idea considering the balance of the batting line-up.
4 Nicholas Pooran: Ideally, Dawid Malan should be the second frontline batsman in the PBKs squad, but with the team persisting with Nicholas Pooran despite three ducks in four innings, who did not get an opportunity to bat in the previous game, the West Indies batsman is surely going to get another chance.
5 Deepak Hooda: Deepak Hooda the bowlers put the brakes on the MI batting, bowling on Chennai's sluggish surface and troubling Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Quinton de Kock. While Hooda the bowler will be expected to continue doing the same, his batting needs to show sparks of the form he showed in the first game of the season.
6 Moises Henriques: Moises Henriques bowled well giving away just 12 runs from his three overs. He did brilliantly to excel as a fast bowler on a surface which assisted spin more. The Australia all-rounder would be crucial to PBKS' plans against KKR as they search for a back-to-back win.
7 Shahrukh Khan: Mohammad Shahrukh Khan is one of the best young all-rounders in India and he has shown what he's capable of in two of the four games he's played so far. Against CSK, Shahrukh scored a brilliant 47 batting lower and played a similar knock in the last game against the Sunrisers as well.
8 Chris Jordan: England all-rounder Chris Jordan replacing Fabian Allen makes sense since not only does it give the bowling some meat considering how good a death-overs bowler he is, but also the fact that Jordan's abilities with the bat at No. 8 could be beneficial to get some quick runs.
9 Ravi Bishnoi: Ravi Bishnoi had to wait a little longer than expected to get his first game of the season, but when he did, the leg-spinner proved why it was a mistake by PBKS management to keep him out of the XI from the beginning. Bishnoi emerged as the trump card for Punjab Kings against MI, picking up 2/21 and he would be expected to keep the likes of Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan quiet
10 Mohammed Shami: One of the highest wicket-takers of last year, Mohammed Shami is still getting into the groove. The more he plays, the better it would be for him and the team.
11 Murugan Ashwin: Arshdeep Singh: The young left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh has shown glimpses of bowling in full rhythm. Whenever he's been able to do that, batsmen have looked uncomfortable against him. While there is a chance of Murugan Ashwin taking his place in the side, playing three spinners would seem a bit too ambitious.