Time: 27 Mar, 7.30 PM IST
Venue: Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai
Pitch Report for Punjab vs Bangalore at DY Patil Stadium
The wicket is expected to be hard that will help the batters play their shots freely. Unlike the Wankhede or Brabourne, the ground dimensions at DY Patil are slightly bigger.
Probable Punjab & Bangalore Teams
Jonny Bairstow will not be available for the initial stages as he is busy playing for England in the Caribbean. Kagiso Rabada too is likely to miss the game.
Probable XI for Punjab: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal (c), Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis
As per the latest reports, Australian players Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood will not be available for the opening match.
Probable XI for Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (c), Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Mahipal Lomror, Sherfane Rutherford, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmad, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, David Willey/Jason Behrendoff
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Power Players from Punjab & Bangalore Teams
Besides leading Bangalore, Faf du Plessis will also have the added responsibility to anchor the innings. Last year, he finished with 633 runs at 45.21 for Chennai in the Indian T20 League. The South African is also known for his clean and safe catching.
Expect Virat Kohli to unleash himself after stepping down from captaincy. Since the inception, the Indian maestro has amassed 4,835 runs for Bangalore, including 5 centuries and 42 fifties. In 2021, he scored 25 and 35 against Punjab.
All eyes will be on Punjab’s new opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal. While the southpaw ended up as the third-highest run-getter (587) last year, Agarwal finished the tournament with 441 runs at 40.09. If these two get going in the powerplay, fantasy players will bask in the glory.
It was Harshal Patel’s deceptive bowling, especially at the death, that proved to be instrumental in Bangalore reaching the playoffs in 2021. He finished the season as the highest wicket-taker (32 in 15 games). If Bangalore bowl first, he could run amok in fantasy leagues.
Smart Picks from Punjab & Bangalore Teams
Wanindu Hasaranga might not have excelled for Bangalore in 2021, but he has grown in stature as a leg-spinner, bamboozling batters around the world. The Sri Lankan has bagged 13 wickets in his last 5 T20Is.
In the previous season, Arshdeep Singh mastered bowling at the death. The left-arm seamer picked 18 wickets in 12 games.
For a long time, Punjab struggled to play two quality spinners in tandem. However, they will be thrilled with the presence of Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar.
Although Rahul can be expensive, he has the ability to strike regularly. Meanwhile, we know how Brar turned the game in Punjab’s favour by dismissing Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and AB de Villiers in quick succession last year.
By keeping wickets and batting in the middle-order, Dinesh Karthik can make a difference in fantasy leagues.
Odean Smith will play the role of a finisher for Punjab. Although he can be inconsistent, he is capable of clearing the boundary ropes quite comfortably. In addition to his big-hitting, the West Indies all-rounder also has the ability to break partnerships.
Punjab vs Bangalore Match Preview
Both teams have met 28 times in the Indian T20 League with Punjab winning 15 and Bangalore 13. In 2021 though, Punjab beat Bangalore in Ahmedabad, before losing to them in Sharjah. While Bangalore’s batting appears a little brittle in Maxwell’s Absence, Punjab have no glaring issues for the opener.
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