Time: September 21, 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
If you can cramp the batters for room and swing the ball enough, there’s no escape for them. If you can toy with the field and play the ball according to its merit, scoring becomes easier. Mumbai pacers and Ruturaj Gaikwad showed how to get things rolling on the Dubai wicket, where most others could not find their feet.
Pick batters that don’t hoick their bats blindly and bowlers that maintain discipline.
Probable XI for Punjab: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami
Probable XI for Rajasthan: Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Liam Livingstone, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Kartik Tyagi, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
KL Rahul has scored 4 fifties in 7 matches and is the second-highest run-scorer of the season. In the UAE, in the previous edition, he scored 670 runs including a hundred and 5 fifties.
The inclusion of Evin Lewis has bolstered Rajasthan’s batting lineup. With 426 runs at a strike rate of 163, he was the second-highest run-scorer of the recently concluded Caribbean T20 League. If anything, he will fill the void left by Jos Buttler’s unavailability.
One of the three two hundreds of the season came off Sanju Samson’s bat and that too against Punjab. Overall, he has managed 277 runs at an impressive average of 46.
The pitches in the UAE suit Mayank Agarwal’s style of batting. In the 2020 edition, he hit 424 runs at a strike rate of 156.
Mustafizur Rahman’s change-in-pace deliveries will be handy in the death overs. As a matter of fact, he has the best strike rate in the league in the last 4 overs.
Chris Morris has taken 14 wickets at an incredible strike rate of 11.1. He also helped Rajasthan finish a game with the bat, scoring 36* off 18.
Liam Livingstone was the top scorer in The Hundred, smacking 348 runs in 9 games.
On paper, both teams boast of world-class T20 cricketers. However, none of them have lived up to the expectations this year. They have won 3 games each, but Punjab have played a game more compared to Rajasthan’s 7 matches.
As witnessed in Sunday’s encounter, powerplay will be crucial. Early wickets set the tone, but the pitch has enough demons. Anything pitched up was dispatched easily into the stands. Whichever team gets their lines and lengths right will be ahead in the race.
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