PBKS and RR fight to maintain their tenuous playoff aspirations

Four teams might end the league stage of the IPL 2023 with 14 points, with the side with the best run rate moving on to the playoffs. In order for that scenario to occur, Royal Challengers Bangalore must drop one of their final two games, Mumbai Indians must drop their final game, and Kolkata Knight Riders must triumph in their final match. However, only one of the Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals teams may participate in this potential outcome as they prepare to compete in Dharamsala for their tenuous chances of qualifying.

Even though the Royals lost to Royal Challengers, their NRR is still positive, and should the 14-point scenario come to pass, a respectable win over the Kings might give them a real opportunity. As a result of their loss against the Delhi Capitals, the Kings’ NRR dropped to -0.308, making it difficult for them to remain in the race. In order to survive, they need a huge victory as well as some significant setbacks for the aforementioned clubs.

The Kings ultimately gave up 213 against the Capitals due to poor bowling in the powerplay and the death, a letdown from the pace department, and some tactical blunders. Against a Rajasthan team that has some really good hitters, who had a good hit out in the nets as they routinely cleared the fence with ease, they must pull up their socks and devise a strategy immediately.

Additionally, they must work together as a team rather than relying solely on individual genius. While Liam Livingstone’s incredible 48-ball 94 in their previous game was in vain, Prabhsimran’s century in Delhi did help his team win. Concern has also been raised over Dhawan’s lack of contributions in the previous two games. The captain will be looking to make apologies and take the initiative.

The Royals, who briefly held the top spot in the standings, are now facing an early elimination after winning only two of their previous eight games. They had two poor batting performances: they were skittled out for 118 against Gujarat Titans and collapsed for 59 against RCB, compiling the third-lowest total in the IPL, in between a high-scoring game that they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad. RR has the perfect location to perform well at the plate, and they will be eager to do so.

When: May 19 at 19:30 IST on Friday

Where: Dharamsala’s Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium

Expectations: In the game between PBKS and DC, as many as 24 maximums were hit, with the small boundaries and a track with bounce and pace making it suitable for the hitters. However, there was some swing available early in both innings, so the bowlers must take advantage of it, or else they may suffer later. Another game with high scores is anticipated.

Overview of teams:

Punjab Kings

The Kings skipped practice on Friday because they had already played the game the day before. They might think about making a few adjustments to the game in the meanwhile. Rabada and Atharva Taide, who struggled despite reaching a half-century before being tactically retired out, might make room for an international batting option and an Indian bowler. Perhaps Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Rishi Dhawan would be good choices for those positions.

Strategies and matchups: Arshdeep Singh is a solid fit with the new ball, especially if swing is on offer. He removed Yashasvi Jaiswal twice in 10 deliveries and only gave up 10 runs. Nathan Ellis, a bowler who has struck out Jos Buttler twice in as many T20 cricket deliveries, might also be given an early opportunity by PBKS. Sanju Samson will be a challenge for Curran, who has already claimed the wicket of the RR captain twice in 15 deliveries.

Sam Curran, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Ellis, Rishi Dhawan, and Arshdeep Singh make up the probable XII: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), and Sam Curran.

Rajasthan Royals

Adam Zampa’s replacement in the previous game, Trent Boult, should be back in the lineup and could benefit from the early swing in Dharamsala. With the exception of Devdutt Padkkal’s fifty against RCB, neither player has performed well in this IPL, therefore it’s unclear which one will start this match.

Strategies and matchups: R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Sandeep have all dismissed PBKS captain Shikhar Dhawan three times each. However, against the Punjab opening, Chahal and Sandeep have both been relatively costly, providing for an intriguing match.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Joe Root, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Devdutt Padikkal/Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, KM Asif, and Yuzvendra Chahal are among the probable XII.

Were you aware?

– In his six T20 matches at Dharamsala, Sandeep Sharma has taken 10 wickets at an average of 14.20, a strike rate of 14.40, and an economy of 5.91.

– Ashwin has taken 20 wickets from 20 games against the Kings, while Chahal has 29 wickets in 18 games. Chahal’s economy against the side is somewhat higher at 8.12 than Ashwin’s, which is 7.23.

– Liam Livingstone has the highest strike rate (min. 50 runs) against right-arm fast/seam bowlers in the IPL with 450 runs at a strike rate of 206.42.


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