New overseas players, the focus as we look at the best predicted playing 11 for Punjab Kings (PBKS) for phase 2 of IPL 2021 in UAE.
Punjab Kings, formerly Kings XI Punjab did some really interesting and, to be honest, good changes in their overseas arsenal ahead of the second leg of IPL 2021. They got two good bowlers in the form of Nathan Ellis and Adil Rashid for the expensive duo of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith.
Both, Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith were purchased at a very expensive price in IPL 2021 Auction. But their performance and Value for money composition were very poor. Such was their misery that even after paying such a hefty amount, they were left out of the squad many times owing to poor performance.
To recap, the first leg of IPL 2021 in India saw Punjab Kings with a decent performance. They could manage to win 3 matches from 8 games, but they weren’t as bad as the stats show. But the road ahead looks difficult for them. They need to win at least 5 from their remaining 6 games for an assured birth in the knockouts.
So, to have a strong side moving into the second leg, what is the best predicted playing 11 Punjab Kings can adopt for the second leg of IPL 2021 in UAE? Let’s find out in this article. Before that, let’s quickly skim through the updated squad for Punjab Kings.
IPL 2021 UAE Final Squad for Punjab Kings (PBKS):
Batsmen: KL Rahul (C&WK), Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Prabsimran Singh, and Sarfaraz Khan.
All-rounders: Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Fabien Allen, Harpreet Brar, Jalaj Saxena, Moises Henriques, Saurabh Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, and Utkarsh Singh.
Bowlers: Adil Rashid, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Jordan, Ishan Porel, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Nathan Ellis, and Ravi Bishnoi.
Openers: KL Rahul & Mayank Agarwal
Similar to their IPL 2020 performance, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal continued to impress in the opening department. The duo is the team’s strength, and more often than not is the reason behind their victories. Both are amongst the runs in IPL 2021, and are in the top 6 of leading run-scorers.
KL Rahul is undoubtedly the best batsman in the IPL currently. Ever since moving to Punjab Kings in 2018, KL Rahul has been among runs. He is currently the second-highest run-scorer in IPL 2021 with 331 runs to his name from 7 innings. Mayank isn’t far either with 260 runs from 7 innings to his name.
Middle-order: Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan & Deepak Hooda
Chris Gayle has been going decently ever since accepting the number 3 position in the batting department. While he isn’t the same Gayle that we have been seeing since 2011, he is adapting to this number 3 challenge quite well. He currently has 178 runs from 8 innings in IPL 2021, but at a decent strike rate of 134.
The perennial problem for Punjab Kings has been the poor returns of Nicholas Pooran with the bat. In the 7 matches he has played in IPL 2021, he could only manage 28 runs. His poor performance even prompted PBKS to play Dawid Malan in his place, who started decently. The management would want to continue with Malan given his current form, so expect Pooran to miss the initial few matches.
Deepak Hooda started his IPL 2021 campaign with a blistering 64, but could only manage 52 runs from his next 7 matches. Given his part-time bowling option, and aggressive intent down the order, the management shall think of continuing with him at the number 5 position.
Lower-order: Shahrukh Khan & Harpreet Brar
Just like Deepak, Shahrukh Khan also managed to start well in his IPL 2021 campaign. But he too has been inconsistent having scored just 107 runs from 7 innings. However, Shahrukh has shown tremendous potential, and is the guy for the future. Given the lack of options, management might want to continue with him at the number 6 position to boost the lower-order.
Harpreet Brar played for only 2 matches, but has already impressed with his bowling and valuable runs down the order. He can play the perfect role of a lower-order batsman alongside Chris Jordan, who can also play attacking cameos. However, it will be Harpreet’s bowling that would be his asset in UAE.
Bowlers: Chris Jordan, Nathan Ellis, Ravi Bishnoi & Mohammed Shami
PBKS tried Jyhe Richardson and Riley Meredith for a good number of the matches together. But the duo couldn’t Perform as per expectations. In place of these two, the management would mostly play Chris Jordan and New recruit Nathan Ellis as the overseas pacers in the squad. If not for 2 Pacers, the team can also think of playing Adil Rashid or Moises Henrique depending on the need or demand.
Meanwhile, PBKS were quite bizarre in excluding Ravi Bishnoi for the initial few matches, and instead playing Murugan Ashwin. But they rectified their mistake, and ever since Bishnoi’s return in the fifth match, he has been quite successful. Bishnoi currently has 4 wickets from 4 games at a good economy rate of 6.2.
The leading pacer and bowler or the squad shall once again be Mohammed Shami. A proper seam bowler, Shami has always defied the odds of being a red ball bowler by being an impressive wicket-taker in white-ball cricket. He has been quite impressive since 2020, and currently has 8 wickets to his name at a decent economy rate of 8.2.
So, that completes the best predicted playing 11 for Punjab Kings (PBKS) for phase 2 of IPL 2021. While we have shared the predicted playing 11, only 4 names seems to be confirmed for the, and those are KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Bishnoi, and Mohammed Shami. The rest 7 shall depend on what strategy PBKS adopt.
Best Predicted Playing 11 for Punjab Kings (PBKS) for Phase 2 of IPL 2021 in UAE:
KL Rahul (C&WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Chris Jordan, Nathan Ellis, Ravi Bishnoi & Mohammed Shami.
Nevertheless, barring the above-mentioned best predicted playing 11, Punjab Kings can also try for the following combinations.
- Adil Rashid for Nathan Ellis or Chris Jordan for spin-friendly conditions.
- Moises Henriques for Nathan Ellis or Chris Jordan to boost the lower-order.
- Sarfaraz Khan or Mandeep Singh for Deepak Hooda or Shahrukh Khan
- Arshdeep Singh for Nathan Ellis or Chris Jordan and Nicholas Pooran for Hooda or Shahrukh to boost the batting.
Thanks for reading! What’s your playing 11 for Punjab Kings (PBKS) for the second leg of IPL 2021 UAE? Please email your thoughts to email@example.com
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.