After a cracking weekend in IPL 2021, the first game on the weekday will see Punjab Kings lock horns with Rajasthan Royals on April 12 (Monday) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Both teams have had a similar season in the UAE and will hope to set the records straight right from the start of the competition.
The 2021 edition will see young wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson leading Rajasthan Royals after the franchise parted ways with former Australian skipper Steve Smith. They also acquired the services of all-rounder Chris Morris, shelling out the most amount for a player in the history of IPL auctions, and in the presence of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, Rajasthan will expect to find suitable results. However, the absence of Jofra Archer will be a massive jolt for the franchise and they will look to find solutions within the available options.
Despite their strong comeback, Punjab’s inability to close out games led to their early exit in 2020 – the team being let down by some of the big overseas names. The pacers leaked runs in the death overs, the middle order lacked runs, adding pressure on the top order. In their bid to right the wrongs from the previous year, the Punjab Kings have beefed up their pace department with Kane Richardson and Riley Meredith coming in while expecting the batting unit to fire.
IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from 7:30 PM IST
Match Prediction – Who will win the match?
Going into this game, Rajasthan Royals will have an edge in head-to-head encounters. Sanju Samson & Co have won 12 matches in compared to Punjab’s nine wins. It will be a closely contested game in Mumbai and the team batting second will have a slight advantage considering the dew factor comes in.
Considering all factors, the KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings will have a slight advantage going into this game and start IPL 2021 on a high, unlike the last season.