Both the teams had disappointing seasons in IPL 2020. Despite beginning strongly, Rajasthan Royals lost their way soon and had an erratic and inconsistent campaign. The last-place finish forced the management into making some tough calls and they decided to part ways with captain Steve Smith who had been released before the IPL Auction. Sanju Samson has been appointed as the skipper of the group instead. RR also spent a whopping INR 16.25 crores on all-rounder Chris Morris during the auction.
Punjab Kings, who were known by the name of Kings XI Punjab until last season, also had an extremely underwhelming campaign in UAE. The side failed to click and were at the bottom of the table for quite a while. Only a late blast towards the back-end of the campaign helped them avoid the blushes of a last-place finish. Punjab Kings have never had a sniff of the prestigious trophy before and will be desperate to win.
RR vs PBKS Fantasy Playing XI
Jos Buttler (9.5 Credits)
Jos Buttler is among the finest white-ball batsmen in the world and was in great form during the recent series against India. He has a strike rate close to 150 in the IPL.
Sanju Samson (9 Credits)
Sanju Samson will be leading the Rajasthan Royals this season. The batsman from Kerala is known for his power-hitting and had a strike rate of over 158 last season. Sanju Samson smashed 21 fours and 26 sixes in IPL 2020.
KL Rahul (10.5 Credits)
On an individual note, KL Rahul had a fantastic IPL 2020. With 670 runs, he finished as the top-scorer of the tournament and ended up winning the Orange Cap. He'll be looking to do more of the same and focus on improving his strike rate in IPL 2021.
Mayank Agarwal (9 Credits)
Mayank Agarwal is an excellent opening batsman and has a great understanding with KL Rahul. He scored 424 runs last season at an average of 38.54 and had a strike rate of 156.45.
Dawid Malan (8.5 Credits)
Dawid Malan is the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world. He has scored over 1000 runs in 24 T20I matches at an average of over 50. Malan also has a strike rate of 144.32.
Yashasvi Jaiswal (8 Credits)
Yashasvi Jaiswal finished as the highest scorer in the 2020 U19 Cricket World Cup. Despite failing to impress last season, there can be no doubt about his potential. He can prove to be a great budget pick.
Ben Stokes (10.5 Credits)
Ben Stokes is among the best all-rounders in the world, if not the best. He has a strike rate of over 135 and has also scored two centuries in the IPL. Stokes has picked up 28 wickets in 42 matches.
Chris Morris (9 Credits)
Chris Morris is the most expensive player in IPL history. He has an IPL strike rate of 157.87 and has scored two half-centuries. Morris has been the most effective with the ball, and has picked up 80 wickets in 70 games.
Mohammad Shami (9 Credits)
Mohammad Shami is an excellent fast bowler and has served India tremendously over the last few years, despite his battle with persistent injuries. Shami will be tasked with the responsibility of leading the line for Punjab Kings once again this season.
Chris Jordan (8.5 Credits)
Chris Jordan was in inspired form against India during the recent white-ball series. He also bowled fairly well at the death last season.
Jhye Richardson (8.5 Credits)
Jhye Richardson was bought by Punjab Kings for a whopping INR 14 crores in the IPL 2021 Auction. He has picked up 24 wickets in 13 ODI matches and 13 wickets in 14 T20I matches. Jhye Richardson has been successful in the Big Bash League in recent seasons.
RR vs PBKS Multiplier Picks
Captain: Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes is a tremendous player and proved his worth once again during the recent series against India. He was in outrageous form with the bat in the ODI series opener and fell one run short of what would've been a fabulous century.
Vice-Captain: KL Rahul
In IPL 2020, KL Rahul registered the highest score for an Indian in the Indian Premier League. He remained unbeaten on 132 against RCB last season.
And that is our lineup for the Dream11 match between Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings. Good luck to all of you!
(Views expressed are those of the writer and do not guarantee winnings)