Punjab and Hyderabad will face each other in Indian T20 League’s first-weekday doubleheader encounter to end their losing streak.
Match Timings: April 21, 3:30 PM IST
After the first week of the Indian T20 League 2021, things are not good for Punjab and Hyderabad. Punjab won their opening game against Rajasthan, thanks to a last-ball mishit from Sanju Samson. In the next two games, they lost to Chennai and Delhi in a silly manner. Their batting was exposed against Chennai and their bowling let them down against Delhi. In the previous game, KL Rahul scored 61 off 51 balls which was a poor knock when the team is scoring 10 runs per over. Bowling hasn’t been convincing and only Arshdeep looked better in all three matches at Mumbai.
Punjab will now make travel to Chennai and face a wounded side Hyderabad. KL Rahul’s troops will look to avoid a hattrick of losses at the early start of the season and it will harm their preparation for the playoffs. Punjab’s two overseas pacers Richardson and Meredith conceded more than 10 runs per over which is a big concern. For this fixture, one pacer will sit and Ravi Bishnoi will play his first game. Murugan Ashwin wl also come back to better the spin combination. Punjab can go with three overseas players or if they add one more, then they can pick Malan or Henriques.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad are now the only team this season who haven’t won a single match so far and it’s a surprising thing for a side who didn’t miss a single playoff in the last five years. Hyderabad’s last two defeats came while chasing and they failed to rotate the strike when they required around 6-7 runs per over. Top-order cannot finish the game but middle-order has to take a responsibility to finish it. The team combination was out of the mind from Warner and after so many questions on social media, Warner can finally pick Kane Williamson in the squad to boost the shaky middle-order.
If Mujeeb sits, Nadeem will be back as the second spin-option with Rashid. Bowling has been impressive but too many changes with the pace-attack isn’t good. Vijay Shankar bowled very well in the last game and it’s a happy sign for Hyderabad. Warner has to break the losing pattern as if Hyderabad loses one more, the task of retaining the playoffs consistency will be pretty tough. In case of defeat, Hyderabad has to win at least 7 of the last 10 games which is not an easy thing.
Chennai’s surface is getting slow with each game but we can expect a better pitch for batting in day-conditions. It should be a game of 160-170 and the batting first side will have an advantage.
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Riley Meredith, Arshdeep Singh
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Khaleel Ahmed
Consistent at top-order and can easily adapt to Chennai’s conditions
Too effective on a spinning track
Economical bowler and Chennai’s surface suits him
93 runs in the last 3 and back-to-back thirty plus scores