IPL 2021: Jaydev Unadkat pledge to donate 10 percent of his IPL salary
30 Apr 2021
The writers face criticism for their writing style, ideas, distinguished approach and which thoroughly affects them, forcing to question their own abilities on a number of occasions. But one single token of appreciation helps them get the confidence back and influences them to persist with the proposals that they have in my mind.
Well, something of similar sorts happened with KL Rahul when his Punjab Kings side locked horns with Virat Kohli’s pretty successful RCB team in this IPL 2021 in Ahmedabad on Friday.
Having lost four out of the six games that Punjab had played prior to this clash, the KL Rahul-led side were on the backfoot interrogating themselves as to where they missed the plot that had led to such an awful display. They were criticised and were being certainly written off.
But, while the queries were mounting, KL was writing a new script keeping in mind the stakes in hand. With their backs to the wall, Rahul and his side penned a perfect screenplay of resilience, hard work and sacrifice to defeat his national team boss Virat Kohli and his mighty Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Punjab skipper brought in Prabhsimran who was certainly a forced change in the top order as Mayank Agarwal wasn’t fit to play. He included the surprise package Harpreet Brar and a not so impressive Riley Meredith in the XI, a move that once again led to questioning his abilities as a leader.
There is a trend in Bollywood these days where directors tend to get inclined towards having a song that would attract the audience and if it’s a party track then that adds to the demand.
KL certainly didn’t have a dance number but he had a quota of four overs from Brar that was enough for the Punjab fans to get their party shoes on. Brar first chipped in with a brisk 25* off 17 to help the side post 179/5 in 20 overs and then rattled RCB batting line up to put them in all sorts of trouble.
The left-handed spinner just didn’t pick up the wickets but he dismissed the three batsmen who are the pillars of RCB batting unit. Brar’s scalps included Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers, a perfect diegesis for a blockbuster that was being released on your TV sets from Gujarat.
RCB were eventually restricted to 145/8 in 20 overs as Punjab Kings won by 34 runs.
DC are coming off a perfect game
Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant doesn’t really need to tinker with his star cast. He has the services of experienced lads and some talented youngsters who have created a perfect balance and the Delhi team is sitting comfortably at the second spot in the points table for now.
While Prithvi Shaw has shown why he is said to be the next superstar in the cricketing vicinity, known faces like Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan bring a lot of stability to the DC crew.
The Delhi franchise showed the glimpse of the same when they defeated KKR comprehensively by 7 wickets in Ahmedabad.
Now when Punjab meet Delhi on Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium, it would be a clash that will see a captain who is trying to write a totally distinguished script and the other who is banking upon the talent and fan following his stars have.
The last time the two teams met each other in Mumbai, DC won by 6 wickets chasing down a target of 196 runs sparing 10 balls.
But past is past and the situations have changed now, both sides are coming into this match with a win in their previous game. While DC would be looking to keep an upper hand, Punjab would be seeking to make it 1-1.
Don’t weaken the storyline at interval, Punjab
Punjab Kings probably have some of the finest hitters of the ball in their line up. From KL Rahul to Chris Gayle and from Deepak Hooda to the latest recruit Shahrukh Khan, the batsmen have the ability to fetch quick runs and can also stitch partnerships as and when required.
Though Hooda has been off-colour in the last few matches, he can still be lethal on his day as he unleashed in the initial stage of the tournament.
Shahrukh has been scoring runs consistently barring one or two innings while Gayle showed up the character with the bat for which he is famous for against RCB. He scored 46 off 24 but the way he executed his strokes was simply tremendous and horrifying for the bowler in front of him.
Captain KL is also among runs while his opening partner Mayank is able to enough get himself back on track.
The missing piece in the XI or let’s say in the batting ranks is the presence of Nicholas Pooran. The left-hander has barely scored any runs and is surely occupying a space where another regular batsman can fit in.
Mandeep Singh or Dawid Malan can be the perfect replacement for Pooran. But Mandeep might hold an edge as he has played with Rahul, Gayle and Mayank while they were in the RCB in the earlier editions and have a better understanding of each other's game.
Rest of the batting is pretty sorted for Punjab now and the inclusion of Brar in the lower middle-order is an added advantage as he too can contribute with the bat at a healthy strike rate.
As far as Punjab’s bowling is concerned. Bishnoi has been a consistent performer while left-arm spinner Brar too showed what he is capable of. The Ahmedabad tracks have been helpful for left-arm spinners in the past and this can help Brar replicate the performance he unfolded against Bangalore on Friday.
The fast bowling department is bit of a problem as their front-line pacer Mohammed Shami hasn't produced a spell of his calibre in this season. The Punjab seamers have been giving some runs and this is where the bowlers need to resist.
Nevertheless, KL can still proceed with this XI for the match against DC making a small change in the middle-order.
The Prithvi ‘Show’
It’s pretty easy to write off a young talent after he has had some disappointing time in the office. This is what exactly happened in Prithvi Shaw’s case. He had a struggling time in Australia and was omitted from the series against England at home.
But with setbacks come opportunities. A young Shaw gathered himself and was asked to lead Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare trophy. The right-hander didn’t just lead his side to win but scored heaps of runs etching his name in the record books. He then continued the form in the IPL 2021 as well while playing for DC.
The Delhi opener has already struck three fifties in the seven matches that he has played which have come at a very aggressive strike rate.
With Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan who is another batsman in some form in the top order for DC and has dominated Punjab Kings in their last meeting, they are ought to get a steady and quick start to the proceedings. Delhi’s new recruit Steve Smith hasn’t produced a “Smith” kind of a knock yet but the former Australian captain has all the talent to take on any bowling attack on his day.
DC’s only problem for now is the performance of their captain Rishabh Pant with the bat. Pant hasn’t been scoring runs consistently and on the couple of occasions he has, they have come on a strike rate which is totally contrasting with his natural game.
The captain needs to take up the responsibility and should go all guns blazing.
Talking about the bowling line up is concerned, DC have the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel and Avesh Khan in the line-up.
Axar had a dream run in Ahmedabad in Tests against England and he would be looking to produce something similar when DC take on PBKS. As mentioned above, it seems to be a paradise for left-arm spinners.
Match: PBKS vs DC, 29th Match, Indian Premier League 2021
Date; Sunday, May 02, 2021
Time; 7:30 PM
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Pitch and Toss
The pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium has been helpful for the spinners but the dew factor can also come into play at the later stage of the match. So, if you win the toss, bowl first.
But if you are put into bat, then a score of 170-180 is still a defendable one if the strip has something on offer for the spinners.
Punjab Kings seem to be back in form with few changes in their playing XI. Harpreet Brar has turned out to be a handy customer for them in the encounter against RCB.
PBKS for now are pretty sorted with their line up and need to make just one small tweak which is getting either Mandeep or Malan in and bench Pooran who has had a dismal run so far.
Riley Meredith got hit by a ball during the last over of the previous match and was taken off-field immediately. An update on whether he would be available for selection or not is still awaited. Arshdeep Singh or Jhye Richardson might return if Meredith isn’t fit.
Delhi Capitals are in some good space with all the players making relevant contributions. They just need to stick to the basics and it’s only the captain Rishabh Pant who needs to realise that he is the same player, rather the same batsman who won matches for India in the toughest of conditions a few months back.
KL Rahul (c), Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Mandeep Singh/Dawid Malan, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Chris Jordan, Arshdeep/Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steven Smith, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan
Chris Gayle (VC), Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Marcus Stoinis, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Kagiso Rabada