After narrowly going down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a pulsating encounter, KKR hit back to get the better of a strong Delhi Capitals (DC) outfit. They restricted DC to 127 for 9 and then batted well enough to get past the victory line. KKR will undoubtedly begin as favorites against PBKS.
If we take a closer look at PBKS’ campaign in the second half of IPL 2021, it has been a roller-coaster ride, just like the case was in the first half. After they were gifted a win to RR, Punjab somehow managed to defend 125 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). However, they came a cropper against Mumbai Indians (MI), stumbling with both bat and ball.
Thanks to their better show in the second half, KKR are better placed with 10 points and are fourth in the table. As of PBKS, they have eight points and need to win maximum games from their remaining three to be in with a good chance of qualification.
KKR ideally wouldn’t make any changes to their playing XI. The fitness of Andre Russell could keep him out again. Shubman Gill is getting starts but needs to convert them. Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana have impressed while Sunil Narine has provided the X-factor. Even though KKR are winning, there would be pressure on skipper Eoin Morgan to perform with the bat.
KKR’s predicted XI: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakaravarthy
PBKS would hope Mayank Agarwal is fit. If not, then they can ponder on sending Chris Gayle to open. Aiden Markram has been highly impressive with the bat, which would please the franchise. Their bowling has been decent but, as a team, they need to find a complete performance.
PBKS’ predicted XI: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Top fantasy picks for KKR vs PBKS clash: Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, Aiden Markram, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
--Renin Wilben Albert