Match 52 of the 2022 TATA Indian Premier League brings us live action from the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the clash between the Punjab Kings and the Rajasthan Royals.
The Punjab Kings lie seventh in the table with five wins and five defeats from their ten games. They are coming into this game off the back of a thumping victory against one of the most formidable oppositions of this year’s campaign, the Gujarat Titans. The Punjab bowlers restricted the Titans to a total of 143 runs which they then chased down in 16 overs, winning the match by 8 wickets. Liam Livingstone smashed 28 runs off a Mohammad Shami over, leading the Kings to victory in style. The PBKS will be high on confidence and will look for nothing less than two points in the upcoming encounter against the Rajasthan Royals.
On the other hand, the Rajasthan Royals lie third in the table with six wins and four defeats from their ten games. There will be a slight array of worry in their camp as they are on a two-game losing run and will be looking to quickly turn things around in order to prevent themselves from falling out of the top half of the table. They displayed an average batting performance against the Kolkata Knight Riders as they managed to put up 152 runs on board which was chased down by the KKR in 19 overs, making the Royals lose the match by 7 wickets. They will have to improve their batting and bowling in their next game if they are to clinch the two crucial points needed for a place in the Playoffs.
Match: Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 52, Saturday, 7 May 2022
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Date and Time: 3:30 pm (IST)
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar
The pitch at the Wankhede Stadium is one that completely favours the batters with its short boundaries and quick outfield. However, a high-scoring game will be unlikely if the same pitch is being used from the previous games, as the pitch may tend to slow down towards the end. Besides, both teams possess a strong batting order, and with the in-form Englishmen such as Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone on show, I feel confident in predicting a high-scoring game on the cards.
Probable Playing XIs
Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Sandeep Sharma
Bench: Benny Howell, Vaibhav Arora, Rishi Dhawan, Baltej Singh, Writtick Chatterjee, Perak Mankad, Ishan Porel, Atharva Taide, Odean Smith, Prabhsimran Singh, Ansh Patel, Raj Bawa, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis
Jos Buttler, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Karun Nair, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Sen, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal
Bench: Navdeep Saini, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rassie van der Dussen, KC Cariappa, Daryl Mitchell, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Anunay Singh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Dhruv Jurel, Shubham Garhwal, Obed McCoy
Matches Played: 23 | Punjab Kings: 10 | Rajasthan Royals : 13
Last five games: Punjab Kings: 2 | Rajasthan Royals: 3
Batter to watch out for: Liam Livingstone
Liam Livingstone will be fancying his chances for another blistering knock against his next opponent after the 10-ball 30 he smashed against the Gujarat Titans. The Englishman has smashed 293 runs in 10 games so far, and we all know how dangerous he can be towards the latter half of an innings. The Wankhede Stadium is one which favours the batters, and I expect another blistering knock from him against the Rajasthan Royals.
Bowler to watch out for: Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada has picked up 17 wickets in his 9 games and will be eyeing to win the Purple Cap come the end of the season. He picked up four wickets in his previous game, which was crucial in dismantling one of the strongest batting line-ups of the campaign. I expect Rabada to be among the wickets yet again. Be sure to have him in your fantasy team.
Jos Buttler (c), Jonny Bairstow, Sanju Samson, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Devdutt Parikkal, Liam Livingstone (vc), Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishi Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kagiso Rabada.
Given the track record between the two teams, the Rajasthan Royals will be fancying their chances to emerge victorious. However, this is a tough call to make as the Punjab Kings will be in top form coming off the back of a thumping win against the Gujarat Titans, whereas the Royals are coming off a two-game losing streak. I predict the Punjab Kings to emerge victorious in this game.