Punjab Kings (PBKS) are ready to play their fifth game of this IPL 2021 when they will face the five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians (MI), who also won both the last two IPL trophies. MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chepauk, Chennai) will host this match this Friday (23rd April) night.
Though Punjab Kings started this IPL 2021 in a positive manner by beating Rajasthan Royals (RR) by four runs in the high-scoring contest, they later suffered three straight comfortable defeats against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 6 wickets, Delhi Capitals (DC) by 6 wickets and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 9 wickets.
IPL 2021, Match 17: Punjab Kings vs Mumbai Indians (PBKS vs MI) – PBKS Predicted Playing XI
KL Rahul (C & wk)
Captain KL Rahul has scored 161 runs in four innings of the IPL 2021. In the first four games of this tournament, Rahul scored 91, 5, 61 and 4 runs respectively. While he was dismissed early in two games of this season, PBKS batting line-up totally struggled. So, the team is dependable on his start.
After scoring 14 and a duck in the first two matches of the IPL 2021, opener Mayank Agarwal found his form back by scoring 69 runs in the third game of this season. In the last game, Mayank scored 22 runs, which was the joint best score for PBKS in that game.
Caribbean superstar Chris Gayle‘s bat is currently on silent mode after their season opener. In their first match of this IPL 2021, Gayle scored 40 off 28 balls but then his scores were 10, 11 and 15 runs respectively. He has to bring his best form to help his team to come out from the present trouble.
While the other PBKS batsmen were struggling in the last game, the middle-order batsman Shahrukh Khan scored the joint highest runs for his team by scoring 22 runs. Earlier, in their second match of this tournament, when PBKS were in deep trouble, he scored the highest runs for his team by scoring 47 runs. In the other two matches of this IPL 2021, 6 not out off 4 balls and 15 not out off 5 balls. He has impressed in every opportunity in this season and he can be promoted to the batting order for showing mostly positive attitude in any situation.
In their season opener, Deepak Hooda scored 64 off 28 balls. Later, in his third game of the IPL 2021, Hooda scored 22 not out off 13 balls. But in the other two games, Hooda scored 10 and 13 runs respectively. He is surely an asset in the PBKS middle-order batting line-up but he hasn’t utilised the other opportunities when he had enough time to bat.
In their last game, Australian cricketer Moises Henriques played his first IPL match after 2017. In that match, he scored 14 runs and bowled one over where he conceded seven runs without picking up a wicket. He can be an asset for PBKS in this IPL 2021 who recently performed well at home, including in the BBL 2020/21.
Caribbean all-rounder Fabian Allen made his IPL debut in the last game where he first scored 6 runs in the lower middle-order batting and then the left-arm spinner had bowling figures of 4-0-22-1. In his first match of the IPL career, the Caribbean cricketer didn’t disappoint in his bowling duty.
It is still a surprise to not see the young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi in the PBKS playing XI while Murugan Ashwin hasn’t impressed much in this IPL 2021 (only wicket in three matches). While Bishnoi was the second most wicket-taker for this Punjab franchise in the IPL 2020 (12 wickets in 14 games), he was very consistent in the recent domestic cricket.
The right-arm pacer Mohammed Shami recently recovered from the injury and has picked up 4 wickets in his first four games of the IPL 2021, but he missed out to take any wicket in the last two matches. Whatever he is one of the important players in this bowling line-up.
England cricketer Chris Jordan can return to the PBKS playing XI for the first time in the IPL 2021 especially to handle the death overs for his team’s bowling. In the last few years, he is smartly handling the crucial death overs for his national team.
Young Arshdeep Singh is currently the most wicket-taker for PBKS in this early IPL 2021 with 5 wickets in four games. He has impressed in the early period of this IPL season but he can be more dangerous if he gets enough support from the other bowlers.