Buttler & Stokes to open in RR vs PBKS tonight
IPL 2021 RR Playing XI vs PBKS: Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) will begin their IPL 2021 campaign on Monday at the Wankhede Stadium. RR will take to the field under new management headed by Kumar Sangakkara and team-led by Sanju Samson. Their first task would be to pick a stable and strong opening pair, a crucial factor behind the inaugural champion’s poor showing last season.
As per the news coming from the Royals camo, in all likelihood, RR is set to pick England’s explosive batting duo, Ben Stokes & Jos Buttler. Skipper Samson, although not ready to reveal his cards openly, did say that the openers will be given a long rope this season.
“It depends. I can’t tell you anything. Me and Sanga(karra) will be trying to give the best combination for our team and actually its always crucial to give a pair or an individual enough time in the tournament. So I think a bit of stability will be seen, rest all depends on how we go ahead”, declared Sanju Samson
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“I think its a decision we’ll undertake with the full buying of the players involved. We want to keep our options open. The most important thing is that players are communicated to clearly as to what their options are and get them to commit to it.” said Director of Cricket for RR Kumar Sangakkara
IPL 2021 RR Playing XI vs PBKS: Why Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes will be a good choice as openers?
Last season, the Rajasthan franchise tried five opening combinations in Buttler-Steve Smith, Yashaswi Jaiswal-Buttler and Jaiswal-Smith. The Stokes-Buttler pair was also given a go but only for two matches, only to settle with Stokes-Robin Uthappa in the end.
The English pair’s first match together as openers was against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The new role did affect them and both of them departed cheaply. While Stoke scored five runs, Buttler was dismissed for 16. However, there was a significant improvement in the second game against Delhi Capitals. They stitched an opening partnership of 63-runs. Stokes contributed 41 runs, while Buttler had 22 to his name.
But it is their current form, which will matter the most to the RR think tank when picking the opening pair. The duo was in tremendous form in the recently concluded white-ball series against India. Stokes England’s second-highest scorer with 135 runs in three games. Buttler, on the other hand, made an impact in the shortest version of the game. He was the highest run-getter for his team and second overall behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli. In three matches, the wicket-keeper batsman had scored 172 runs.
England and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Eoin Morgan also believes Jos Buttler & Ben Stokes will be the right and most exciting choice for Rajasthan to start their innings. “Obviously the two of them will be opening for Rajasthan this year in the IPL. So that’s going to be great to watch,” he added.
IPL 2021 RR Playing XI vs PBKS: What will be the batting line-up?
The biggest problem Rajasthan face is their weak Indian core which hasn’t been consistent. Samson has rarely performed in five straight games in any of the editions in the past few years. Pacer Jaydev Unadkat, bought for Rs 11.5 crore in 2018, has been unable to deliver while Manan Vohra has been brilliant only on rare occasions. It will be interesting to see what role Samson, Unadkat and Vohra will play this season.
With Steve Smith out of the picture now, the RR skipper is likely to take the No.3 spot, with Yashaswi Jaiswal or Manan Vohra can filling in at No.4. Rajasthan is set to miss David Miller as he is still in quarantine and the team management awaits an update for the same. In his absence, Riyan Parag is likely the No.5 batsman. Rahul Tewatia will resume his duties at No.6 and is set to resume his role of a finisher just like last season.
IPL 2021 RR Playing XI vs PBKS: Bowling unit a big headache
Rajasthan is a team with an inexperienced bowling unit. Barring Chris Morris, who was bought for a whopping INR 16.25 crore, there is no impactful pacer on the side. Their star fast bowler Jofra Archer is still unavailable due to injury. To add to their worries, Bangladesh paceman Mustafizur Rahman is also set to miss the opening game due to quarantine.
While Morris will be Rajasthan’s lead pacer, Jaydev Unadkat and Kartik Tyagi are likely to be his deputies. In the spin department, Shreyas Gopal will join Tewatia. But the inexperienced bowling unit, says Sangakarra can be beneficial to their campaign.
“Inexperience sometimes can work for you and sometimes it would mean the opposition has not really seen them either. But fast bowling, especially in the IPL is not an easy task and we saw that yesterday (during DC vs CSK) as well. Sometimes the wickets are really good for batting or most of the wickets are. So I am pretty confident that our young fast bowlers will step up. We have had Kartik Tyagi, who did very well last season in patches. And this year we have a new addition in Kuldeep Yadav and Chetan Sakariya. I think it’s about keeping them focussed on what their job is and get them trained and execute game plans in different scenarios,” he said.
RR Playing XI vs PBKS in IPL 2021 (Likely):
1) Jos Buttler, 2) Ben Stokes, 3) Sanju Samson, 4) Riyan Parag, 5) Shivam Dubey 6) Rahul Tewatia, 7) Chris Morris, 8) Andrew Tye 9) Shreyas Gopal, 10) Kartik Tyagi, 11) Jaydev Unadkat
IPL 2021 – Rajasthan Royals Full Squad: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
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