PK - IPL 2021 in UAE Team Preview
Author: Manish Khorgade
With the second instalment of the Indian Premier League coming closer, the teams are gearing up for a final push for the playoffs. The Punjab Kings are ready to lock their horns on September 21st against the Rajasthan Royals. The Kings are currently 6th sitting on the 6th position with 6 points in 8 games, one below their opponents RR. With only 6 games in hand, will Punjab Kings pull off a miracle, or go down trophyless for the 14th time is a million-dollar question.
Let’s find out what has happened with the Kings so far and where they can finish this season, and how are the betting apps favouring this team.
History of Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings (then known as Kings XI Punjab) were the semi-finalists of the inaugural IPL. Australian left-handed batsman Shaun Marsh won the first Orange Cap of the IPL with 616 runs in just 11 games. In 2010, IPL terminated their contract after the controversy between BCCI and Lalit Modi erupted. But the Kings won the battle in the court to get their contract reinstated.
In 2014, the Kings finished top of the points table but suffered heartbreak in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders. Wriddhiman Saha’s 115 runs couldn’t save them as they lost the campaign and their first chance to win the IPL by 3 wickets. Except for the 2008 and 2014 campaigns Kings spent all of their time in the bottom half of the points table. In 2020, despite skipper KL Rahul’s heroic efforts (Orange Cap for 670 runs) Kings didn’t qualify for the playoffs. The franchise changed their name from Kings XI Punjab to Punjab Kings before the start of the IPL 2021 season.
IPL 2021 Auction
Punjab Kings jumped into the IPL mini-auction 2021 with INR 53.2 crores (USD 7.32 million). They released 9 players before the auction. Some A-listers including Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman felt the axe. The KIngs hit the jackpot by signing the world no. 1 T20I batsman David Malan for his base price of INR 1.5 crore ( USD 206K). They splashed a fortune on Aussie players including all-rounders Jhye Richardson (USD 1.92 million) and Moises Henriques (USD 578K), & Riley Meredith (USD 1.1 million).
The Kings awarded sensational Indian domestic all-rounder Shahrukh Khan his first IPL contract for INR 5.25 crore (USD 722K). With West Indian Fabien Allen PBKS concluded their auction.
Players out: Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Zadran, Hardus Viljoen, James Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Karun Nair, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tejinder Singh Dhillon.
Players in: Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
KL Rahul: Kings Skipper KL Rahul has continued his extraordinary IPL form for the consecutive time with 331 runs in 7 games at a strike rate of 136.21 with 4 fifties.
Mayank Agarwal: Rahul’s opening partner Agarwal has 260 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 141.30 including an unbeaten 99 runs knock.
Mohammad Shami: Indian pacer Shami has 8 wickets at an economy of 8.16 and is the Kings leading wicket-taker.
IPL 2021 so far
Punjab Kings started their IPL 2021 campaign on a winning note. They beat Rajasthan Royals in a high scoring match. Skipper Rahul scored a 91 runs knock to set a target of 222 runs. Kings won the match by 4 runs. But Kings hit a low by losing their next three games against CSK, DC, and SRH.
Kings then beat current champions Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets. Rahul came to the rescue with a 60 runs unbeaten knock with Chris Gayle who scored 43 runs. Kings register their final win of the 1st instalment against RCB. They won by 34 runs. Kings lost their final game against Delhi Capitals. Mayank Agarwal’s 99 runs couldn’t save the 167 runs target as DC beat them by 7 wickets. Currently, Punjab Kings have 6 points in 8 matches and are in 6th position in the points table.
Punjab Kings are set to miss Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith in the second instalment. Also, the availability of English players like David Malan and Chris Jordan is in question. They have signed Nathan Eliis as a replacement for Riley Meredith while Adil Rashid is set to take the place of Jhye Richardson. This makes the Punjab Kings’ one of the least favourites of IPL 2021 betting sites to win the title.
Performances of Players bought in IPL Auction 2021
Jhye Richardson: The most expensive player of Punjab Kings has only played 3 matches. Richardson has taken only 3 wickets at an economy of 10.63.
Riley Meredith: Another big-spending has not performed well for the Kings. Meredith has 4 wickets in 5 innings and has the second-worst economy after Richardson.
Shahrukh Khan: The middle-order batsman has scored 107 runs in 7 innings so far at a strike rate of 127.38
David Malan: The world number 1 batsman just got a game for Punjab Kings in which he registered 26 runs.
Fabien Allen: Allen got 2 games in the first instalment and has 1 wicket at an average of 52.
Punjab Kings Squad:
KL Rahul (c&wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Shahrukh Khan, Nathan Ellis, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
Betting Expectations for Punjab Kings’ IPL 2021 second instalment
Against Rajasthan Royals: Kings have beaten RR by 4 runs in the first instalment. The road will be tougher this time. But Kings can exploit the RR’s non-availability of the key players to win the game.
Against SRH and KKR: With both KKR and SRH struggling with their forms, the Kings have the upper hand against both teams.
Against MI, RCB, and CSK: Kings will face the toughest challenges against MI, RCB, and CSK. Kings are least favoured against these three who are in the top 4 spots of the points table.
It will be a hell of a journey for the Punjab Kings to qualify for the playoffs. The close losses in the first half are definitely going to haunt them. But a new venue and addition of new players might come to the rescue for Kings. After all, skipper Rahul and Agarwal ran havoc the last time Kings visited UAE.
Make sure to check our ipl tips this season!
RR - IPL 2021 in UAE Team Preview
The inaugural IPL’s winner Rajasthan Royals to start their campaign against Punjab Kings on September 21st.
DC - IPL 2021 in UAE Team Preview
Delhi Capitals, the finalists of IPL 2020 were on the right track before the IPL 2021 was halted earlier this year.