Moment of The Day: Chris Gayle’s Stump Goes Flying
After Kagiso Rabada’s consistent breakthrough IPL seasons, IPL 2021 has been a letdown so far. With Anrich Nortje on the bench, his position was under the scanner. Just 3 wickets in the last 5 games, he came back with a 3/36 today. My moment of the day was Rabada taking Gayle’s stump out with a full-toss after Gayle had dispatched Rabada for a six.
Mayank Agarwal was the batsman of IPL 2020 although he got injured halfway through. After his form dropped from Test cricket, he was not looking like his own. Even though he was among the runs this year, the ball-striking and strike rate was not up to par. As stand-in captain for KL Rahul, he was back to his absolute best. 99* (58) pushed PBKS to a competitive score of 166.
Honorable Mention: Hetmyer’s finishes it off in style – 16* (4) with 2 sixes
T20 World Cup Spotlight: Shaw, Shikhar Shoe-In for the 23-Member Squad?
Prithvi Shaw has been single-handedly dismantling the opposition within the powerplay, while Shikhar Dhawan has been killing the opposition softly. Together, they have formed a deadly combination, both in the top 4 of top run-getters.
Dhawan is the orange cap: 380 runs, 54.28 average, 134.27 strike rate.
If the T20 World Cup happens, they should definitely make the squad now. The question is, do they make the XI? With Mumbai Indians trio Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar struggling for form, Dhawan-Shaw might be a wildcard opening entry rather than Sharma-Kohli. KL Rahul & Mayank Agarwal are the other options.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Dawid Malan
Nicholas Pooran was finally dropped for Dawid Malan. Malan already scored higher than Pooran in his six games – but the strike rate was concerning. 26 (26) with a few good looking shots and singles, but was bogged down. Where do things stand for him?
Ravi Bishnoi has pulled some blinders and have had some good games with the ball. After Harpreet got Prithvi Shaw out and Steve Smith slow to get off, PBKS had a sniff. Shikhar Dhawan had other plans as he destroyed Bishnoi. Ended with figures of 4-0-42-0.
The IPL is full of surprises and memorable moments. Here are my moments of today:
Mayank impresses 69 (36), KL Rahul 61 (51) does not. In a 122 run partnership, Agarwal dominated. At one point, Agarwal – 66 (30) & KL Rahul 34 (30). In a high-scoring match at the Wankhede, the slow strike rate was the difference.
Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan key to this Punjab lower order. After brief collapse to 179-4 in 18.5 overs, Hooda – 22* (13) & Shahrukh – 15* (6) carried PBKS to 195. They both have played 2 innings of note now. Gayle & Pooran’s form a major concern, especially with the likes of Dawid Malan & Moises Henriques on the sidelines.
Honorable Mentions: Prithvi Shaw’s blazing 32; Lukman Meriwala & Jalaj Saxena, domestic stars, get an IPL game; Steven Smith 9 (12) in comeback game.
T20 World Cup Spotlight: Has Dhawan Solidified His Spot?
Shikhar Dhawan is enjoying this phase of his career. He is taking catching galore and scoring runs galore. Brilliant strike rate as well.
Las year KL Rahul (670 runs) edged Shikhar Dhawan (618) for the orange cap, and this battle continues in IPL 2021. Dhawan currently holds the orange cap with 186 runs, with KL at #3 with 157 runs.
Dhawan’s golden run continues. 92 & 85 in the last 3 IPL matches and 98 & 67 in 2 ODIs against England earlier.
With 23-member squad possible for the T20 World Cup, has Dhawan solidified his spot? KL Rahul, despite the critics, will most likely make the squad, but as of now, Dhawan will be in the XI. Mayank Agarwal could be a wildcard entry as well.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: PBKS’ Death Bowling
Another day, another unsuccessful defense by Punjab. Seasoned Mohammad Shami, Jhye Richardson, & Riley Meredith had economies of 13.25, 10.25, & 15.00 respectively. The young Arshdeep? 3-0-22-0 (7.33 economy). Chris Jordan needs to come back to this side if PBKS have any hope. Urgently.
IPL 2021 Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap Leaders
No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap. We will keep updating it in every article!
Shikhar Dhawan – 186 runs (DC, 3 matches) [Earlier in the day, Glenn Maxwell (176) briefly overtook Rana (155)]
Harshal Patel – 9 wickets (RCB, 3 matches)
Net Run Rate
1. Royal Challengers Bangalore
2. Delhi Capitals
3. Mumbai Indians
4. Chennai Super Kings
5. Rajasthan Royals
6. Kolkata Knight Riders
7. Punjab Kings
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad
IPL 2021 Points Table
Also, if you have not yet read our IPL Previews, here is a list of all of them! Check them out and share ahead:
Overseas: Fabian Allen, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Riley Meredith, Nicholas Pooran, Jhye Richardson
Predicted PBKS XI
KL Rahul (C/WK), 2. Mayank Agarwal, 3. Dawid Malan/Chris Gayle, 4. Nicholas Pooran, 5. Deepak Hooda, 6. Shahrukh Khan, 7. Fabian Allen/ Moises Henriques, 8. Arshdeep Singh, 9. Chris Jordan/ Jhye Richardson, 10. Mohammad Shami, 11. Ravi Bishnoi
Watch Out For
Chris Gayle. Yes the same one. He is targeting a 3rd World T20I title and might even play till the age of 45. Gayle, KL Rahul, & Mayank Agarwal back in Bangalore. PBKS are scheduled to play their last 5 games at Bangalore. Carnage from the home boys?
From the bottom of my heart, I believe Nicholas Pooran is the next big star of world cricket. This has to be his year either in the IPL or the World T20I. Hopefully both. If you have not read his story, read it below. Truly inspirational stuff.
Going back to the Chinnaswamy is good news…for the batsmen. Not so much for the death bowling. Chris Jordan is one of the world’s best exponent of the yorker, but his England form has been off color in 2020-21. Arshdeep was impressive, but this bowling unit does not give me confidence.
Venues & Fixtures
Bangalore- 5, Ahmedabad- 4, Mumbai- 3, Chennai- 2
12 April: RR vs PBKS (Mumbai)
16 April: PBKS vs CSK (Mumbai)
18 April: DC vs PBKS (Mumbai)
21 April: PBKS vs SRH (Chennai)
23 April: PBKS vs MI (Chennai)
26 April: PBKS vs KKR (Ahmedabad)
30 April: PBKs vs RCB (Ahmedabad)
2 May: PBKS vs DC (Ahmedabad)
6 May: RCB vs PBKS (Ahmedabad)
9 May: CSK vs PBKS (Bangalore)
13 May: MI vs PBKS (Bangalore)
15 May: KKR vs PBKS (Bangalore)
19 May: SRH vs PBKS (Bangalore)
22 May: PBKS vs RR (Bangalore)
25 May: Qualifier 1 (Ahmedabad)
26 May: Eliminator (Ahmedabad)
28 May: Qualifier 2 (Ahmedabad)
30 May: Final (Ahmedabad)
The good news? Punjab play 4 games in Ahmedabad before they head to Bangalore. So if they make it to the qualifiers, they will have good experience of the conditions under their belt.
If they can win their Super Overs this time around, PBKS will be the team to watch out for.
Shahrukh Khan, the finisher
Broken Cricket Dream
Dawid Malan, the No. 1 T20I batsman of 2020, has had some questions around his place recently. With Gayle breathing down his neck, can Malan come on his own in the IPL?
Punjab Kings Preview Predictions
What do you think of the Punjab Kings Preview? Your First XI? Will they make the IPL 2021 qualifiers?