PBKS vs RCB, IPL 2021: Punjab Kings will have to give their all to get put a halt to their derailing campaign when they face a formidable Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Ahmedabad on Friday. Smarting from a five-wicket defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders, KL Rahul has a big task cut out to stand up to high-flying Virat Kohli’s RCB team, which has been firing on all cylinders. With four losses and two wins, Punjab are currently placed sixth in IPL 2021 points table. PBKS’ inconsistent batting has been a letdown and Rahul and Punjab team management will want to solve these problems going into their next game.
PBKS vs RCB, IPL 2021: 3 Big challenges KL Rahul needs to solve
Challenge 1: Nichola Pooran’s form
The dynamic Nicholas Pooran is having a woeful season to say the least. The swashbuckling West Indian has managed just 28 runs in the five innings which includes three ducks. Punjab tried to play him at No.5 from his usual No.4 in the previous game. However, the experiment failed after he was dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy for 19 – his highest score of the seasons so far. The team could replace him with the premier T20 batsman in the world, England’s Dawid Malan.
Challenge 2: Right Playing XI combination
Punjab continue to experiment with their playing XI but has failed to find the right combination. In six matches only once has KL Rahul repeated his playing XI, in the first two matches. The lack of a settled starting line-up have kept the Punjab side struggling. Furthermore, Rahul would want to rejig his playing XI to bring balance to the batting line-up.
Chris Gayle, who is known for his explosive batting, has found it hard to score at No.3. While Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have been giving Punjab a good start in the powerplay, Gayle, Pooran and Deepak Hooda have failed to consistently build up the innings.
Their inconsistent batting has been a letdown so far. In their six games, the KL Rahul-led side have gone on to make the three low totals batting first — 106, 120 and 123.
Challenge 3: Lack of wicket-taking bowlers
While Punjab’s batting has consistently found itself at the centre of criticism, their lack of taking wickets has also been a big problem this season. The Rahul-led side lacks lethal wicket-taking options like Mumbai Indians’ Jasprit Bumrah-Trent Boult or even Chennai Super Kings Deepak Chahar and Ravindra Jadeja.
Punjab’s prime pacer Mohammed Shami has looked rusty, despite being their highest-wicket taker. Arshdeep Singh has been a revelation for the franchise but the lack of support has hurt PBKS, especially in the middle-overs.