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14th Fit (D/N), Chennai, Apr 21 2021, Indian Premier League (KL Rahul 4*, Mayank Agarwal 11*, Khaleel Ahmed 0/6) – Are living, PBKS vs SRH, 14th Fit, are living rating, 2021

3.30pm Here we go. Same openers for Punjab Kings. Sharma, the left-arm spinner, is opening the bowling. No slip.

Some big changes from both teams then. Kane Williamson is finally fit to go, and Kedar Jadhav gets a debut for SRH as well. They’ve always had experienced bowlers to fall back on and Kaul is a nice back-up to have. It does look a much better balanced line-up now. For Punjab – good batters all the way down to 8. The bowling does appear a little thin, with Henriques the fifth bowler who might have some help from Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh Khan in the middle overs. The big news, of course, is that both their overseas fast bowlers have been left out.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Kedar Jadhav, 5 Vijay Shankar, 6 Virat Singh, 7 Abhishek Sharma, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Siddarth Kaul , 11 Khaleel Ahmed

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

3.23pm Mannan: “Oh wow Punjab’s bowling lineup looks so fragile! Finishing 8 overs between Allen, Henrique and Maybe Hooda is too much of ask!”

Asna: “When all others have their eyes on Kane and Allen, I have my eyes on Kedar Jadhav. He received a lot of flak for his performance from fans last season and an otherwise patient CSK team dropped him and released him. It was quite unusual for CSK to release an experienced Indian player. But Jadhav can now prove that CSK was wrong! ”

Rohit B: “I think Punjab’s batting has been strengthened today to help Rahul loosen up a bit earlier. A collapse must be on his mind which stops him from freeing his arms.”

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Olympics are now just over three months away and the organisers are still battling to cope with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. India’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, who is part of the International Olympic Committee’s Athlete Commission, believes that in order to keep up with the changing situation, the existing testing methodology and quarantine protocols in the Games Playbook might need a science-driven rethink.

Rishi Vinayak: “Barring CSK’s insane batting depth, Punjab Kings’ lineup today seems the deadliest. Should try and go all guns blazing from the start”

Akhil: “Bhuvi’s underperformance is going under the radar thanks to all eyes on SRH middle order. He needs to be back on form starting this match to give SRH a fair chance of comeback.”

Maruf: “Can not wait to see Kane batting. He is always in my squad for SRH. Also would like to see Gayle batting again at opening, with Rahul and Mayank at 3. ”

Samarth Pran: “Why bet on two uncapped youngsters when you have Manish Pandey? Should have played him with one of the youngsters”

Karthik: “Punjab batting looks ominous with Allen coming at 8!!! They can go for kill with Rahul dropping anchor. ” — Do they need an anchor with batting down to 8 though?

Bezz: “KXIP should have opted for another spinner instead of Moses. Their batting is strong enough to not need bolstering. ”

Pravir: “I can’t be the only one wondering why Punjab are refusing to play Ravi Bishnoi!? Baffling.”

Warner: It’s not about me keeping the positivity up. Everyone in this franchise is always positive. There are little things – my run out for example- that we need to work out. Kane is coming in for Mujeeb. Samad has a hamstring injury and Kedar replaces him. Manish misses out as well.

Rahul: I think it’s pretty obvious, everyone’s batting first. Riley, Jhye and Jalaj miss out. Fabian, Moises and M Ashwin are in. We know who our core group is, there will be one or two changes according to conditions. The players have been given their roles. The more games we play, we’ll get better. There are youngsters and we need to give them some time to get used to the pressure of the IPL.

3pm Punjab Kings have elected to bat.

Here are today’s fantasy XI suggestions with Dale Steyn.

Khan: “Bishop would be the happiest man to see Allen in XI” — And I’m right there with him. Fantastic talent. Though Chepauk might not be ideal for his power-hitting role. Let us see.

Khan: “I badly wanted SRH to play Allen in XI last year, got a feeling he’s gonna show them what he’s capable of. I hope SRH comes out victorious ”

Karan Singh: “Good swap would be allen and Henriques for the two australian quicks and then ravi Bishnoi for saxena ”

2.51pm Fabian Allen and Moises Henriques have received caps too! We’re going to see a massive change in structure today from the Punjab Kings. I wonder if this means Gayle sits out. Or Pooran?

2.47pm Kedar Jadhav has received a cap.

Manith : “Finally here we see kedar jadhav playing for SRH to stabilize the middle order. This is certainly a positive point for SRH.”

abd: “David Warner loves to bat against Punjab! Hoping to see a sublime century from him today and lead SRH to their 1st win of the season!”

Shreenath: “I think SRH must bat first in order to put up a challenging top score fore Punjab Kings.”

Rupeen: “Why hasn’t Punjab played Bishnoi yet? Wasn’t he one of their best bowlers last season?”

2.42pm I see Moises Henriques bowling at the warm-ups. But then again, Anil Kumble is also bowling, so make of that what you will.


Abhishek Kumar: “Kumble coming out of retirement to play at Chennai, pity KKR is not here with Bhajji…”

SriniR: “I think Punjab shd change the batting order. Gayle, Mayank to open. Pooran at 3. KL can come at 4 to stabilize ”

RajatMaheshwari: “Last game was so un-SRH to change the team with as many as four changes! They aren’t a team who makes much changes to their teams historically but they have now have had the poorest of start to an IPL campaign! With respect to PBKS, think for the Chennai leg, they can really look to put someone at the top who can score a bit more quickly rather in the powerplay as we have seen with the ball getting old and soft after 10 overs or so, runs are hard to come by!”

SUNNYROHITH: “Abhishek and Bairstow to open and Warner comes at 4 to take care of the middle order, he did play at 4 previously. Abhishek did well when he opened at domestic level. Go SRH”

2.30pm Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of the second double-header day of the IPL. It’s a battle of the bottom two teams to start off, Punjab Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. They’re teams with opposite issues at the moment – Punjab’s batting is doing as well as it has since the last season, but the bowling hasn’t clicked despite wholesale changes and big investment. For Sunrisers, it’s the same shaky middle order that they’ve dealt with in the last few seasons, a middle order despite which they’ve been one of the top teams of the tournament; it seems that charm is fading away at the moment. Can they haul it back into control? Here is Vishal Dikshit’s preview: Onus on in-form batters and spinners as Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings look to get going

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