Get Ball by Ball Commentary of Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings, Indian Premier League 2021, 4th Match | ESPN.com

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7.29pm The action is about to begin. Catch it LIVE on Disney+Hotstar VIP (India only). Rahul and his best friend Agarwal will open for Punjab. Sakariya has the new ball on debut. Here is everything you need to know about Sakariya.

7.15pm MS Dhoni doesn’t like 7.30pm starts. Do you? Let us know over at our Live Report, manned by Sid Monga

Pooran watch: How will the Royals cope with the WI spin smasher, given they have two leggies in the XI? There’s a theory that his weakness is wide angles, back of a length, into the body – watch out for Morris bowling round the wicket to him or the left-armers coming from wide on the crease. SL’s Chameera did trouble Pooran in the Caribbean recently with similar plans

Pratik: “I guess now would be the time for you guys to talk about Chetan Sakariya? Who is he? Some details please!” — Shashank Kishore is the man with all the answers about Indian domestic cricket: A left-arm swing bowler who hails from Vartej, a hamlet 180 kilometres west of Rajkot. Sakariya, 23, grew up wanting to be a batsman, but turned towards fast bowling when he was in class XI because that helped students get a lot of ‘bhaav‘ (attention) in school.

Sakariya has risen the ranks playing tennis ball cricket. So much of his skills are self-taught. It wasn’t until he was 16 that he had formal coaching of any kind.

He trialed with Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. He was eventually picked up by the Royals at the February auction for INR 1.2 crores for his maiden IPL stint. In 2020, he was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore contingent in UAE as a net bowler.

Adil : “I don’t agree with Navneeth here. Punjab did the right thing by picking 2 genuine pace bowlers on this pitch. We saw how hapless CSK were when they had many medium pace all-rounders. “

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Jos Buttler (wk), 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Ben Stokes, 4 Sanju Samson(capt), 5 Riyan Parag, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Shreyas Gopal, 10 Chetan Sakariya, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Punjab Kings: 1 KL Rahul (capt&wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Deepak Hooda, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Jhye Richardson, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Riley Meredith, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Arshdeep Singh

Navneet: “Weird selection from Punjab again. Last year too their selection decisions were baffling leading to dismal performance. They should have picked Henriques or Fab Allen in place of one of the fast Bowlers, the all-rounder department is where they lacked last year and they are making the same mistake again.”

7pm Samson wins his first IPL toss as captain and chooses to bowl (of course). Chetan Sakariya and Manan Vohra are the other debutants for Royals. As for Punjab, they have picked M Ashwin over Ravi Bishnoi (for some batting cover I guess)

Samson: We did a good job with the auction. Morris, Stokes, Buttler, and Fizz are our overseas players. It’s a honour to have Sanga alongside and he makes my job easier. Very excited about the new role.

Rahul: We wanted to bowl first, too, but having said that we have to play good cricket. Toss does play a part…I can’t really point out batting or bowling; the team is coming together as one. We are happy with the new buys and hopefully we start well. Gayle, Pooran, Richardson, and Meredith are the overseas players.

6.58pm The toss is about to happen. Follow all the action LIVE on Disney+Hotstar VIP

6.45pm Three IPL debutants in the Punjab camp: TN’s Shahrukh Khan, Hobart Hurricanes’ Riley Meredith and Perth Scorchers’ Jhye Richardson. Meanwhile, Mustafizur Rahman and Shivam Dube receive their maiden Rajasthan Royals caps. Two other players also receive their RR caps. We will bring you those updates shortly.

I’ve got to add that I’m disappointed that Fabian Allen hasn’t made his IPL debut yet. Power-hitting phenom. I daresay he’s a better fielder than Jadeja (watch this). His bowling, however, is a work in progress.

Sundar: “Disappointed SRK will be playing today. He should have instead played on the Apri 10th. Very few local lads in the CSK tent. I wonder why. TN has good T20 talent.” — Well, SRK was a Junior Chennai Super King back in the day

6.40pm Bowling, death-bowling in particular, was a bugbear for the Kings XI in 2020. Their new bowling coach Damien Wright speaks to Varun about finding the balance in the attack.

Mukundan Kalyan: “Excited to watch the Indian version of Pollard today-Sharukh Khan.” — I heard he’s been smoking it at the nets. He smashed pace this domestic season, but has a bit of weakness against legspin. The Royals could do well to match SRK up with Shreyas Gopal

6.30pm M Ashwin: This year we will try to rectify the errors of the past, we have addressed it at our practice matches. Hopefully, we make a winning start today. I have also looked to do well and when I get the opportunity. I played nine matches last year, and contributed a bit to the team. I have analysed the drawbacks from last season, and hope to do better. The wickets in India will assist spin, but we need to adapt to various venues. To play under the guidance of Anil [Kumble] sir is very helpful and this season is another chance to learn from him. Domestic cricket is very important and it was a good preparation for the IPL. We [Tamil Nadu] got to play in Ahmedabad, which is one of the venues for the IPL. So that experience will help. Hoping to continue the domestic form in IPL as well. 

Abhijato: “I don’t know about you, but I’m here for just the one reason – to watch Rahul Tewatia play. I desperately hope he isn’t a one-season wonder. There’s something so affecting about his street-smartness which makes him the perfect T20 player. Dare I say … perfect as a back-up option to the Indian side as well!

Numba One: “Surely Punjab Kings will play Dawid Malan, the no. 1 ranked T20I batsman?” — I don’t quite see Malan playing over Gayle. At least not at the Wankhede

Bob Smith : “I don’t think it was a great decision by PBKS to go for inexperienced guys like Meredith and Richardson. They could’ve gone with more experienced options like Morris and Adam Milne because they had a lot of money.”

6.20pm In the most recent auction, Morris became the most expensive player ever in the IPL, with the Rajasthan Royals outbidding the Royal Challengers Bangalore to sign him for INR 16.25 crore (USD 2.2 million approx.). The injury-enforced absence of Archer could ramp up the pressure on the SA allrounder, but Morris is ready for it

Jagen: “Today we will be missing the battle of Gayle vs Archer!! Will Gayle score a hundred today as RR is without Archer?

Mustafa Moudi : “Guess RR made a Mistake by Releasing Uthappa. All his Failures were down the Order, but he was good as an opener. RR could have Retained the Stoke-Uthappa Opening Pair Followed by Samson, Buttler, Dube, Tewatia and Morris !!”

vaithy: “Big day for Samson. He can express himself with better freedom now. Much excited about Meredith for his raw pace of 145 ” — Meredith can crank it up further to 150kph! No wonder Rahul’s looking forward to his ‘proper pace’

6.15pm Banner day for Samson. The new Royals captain speaks to Nagraj Gollapudi about his leadership and conversations with Sanga.

If you’d like to revisit our team previews…

Royals’ flexibility offers chance at redemption, by Sruthi Ravindranath

Rebranded Punjab seek more stability in search of maiden title, by Varun Shetty

Rajat Maheshwari: “Moises should feature in the playing XI as mentioned in your preview as him batting at No.5 will release the pressure on KL Rahul to play the anchor role and him playing with freedom will augur well for the team! Expecting Jhye to crank it up at Mumbai much like he did for Perth Scorchers in the recent BBL at Optus Stadium! Looking forward to see both the Aussies in the action today!”

6.10pm Rajasthan Royals, the bottom-dwellers of IPL 2020, will run into Kings XI Punjab Punjab Kings, who narrowly missed the playoffs last year despite a late scramble, at the Wankhede this evening. The Royals have revamped their team management, offloading Steven Smith and giving Sanju Samson greater responsibility as captain. Kumar Sangakkara has been appointed as the team director, but Jofra Archer’s injury has punched holes in their set-up. Sure, Archer is irreplaceable, but can Chris Morris help fill that void?

The Punjab franchise has been rechristened to Punjab Kings, but not a lot has changed with their batting line-up. They still remain a top-heavy side, despite the additions of Tamil Nadu power-hitter Shahrukh Khan and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots allrounder Fabian Allen. However, they do have extra pace, in the form of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith, something that CSK lacked in the first match in Mumbai this season. Shashank Kishore’s preview should be your first stop of the evening.



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