RR vs PBKS – The fourth match of the IPL 2021 tournament between the two blockbuster teams, Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings, could all be about match-ups. We take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the fourth game of the IPL 2021.
RR vs PBKS Game Plan – Win the Death Overs phase, win the match?
Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings are two teams that have historically been very expensive at the death overs while bowling. In the last 3 years, RR have been the worst bowling team in the death overs phase, conceding runs at 11.70 runs per over. PBKS aren’t far off. The Punjab franchise is the third most expensive team in this phase, leaking 11.39 runs per over.
Both the teams have addressed this age-old issue of theirs to some extent. RR have brought in South African pacer Chris Morris for 16.25 crores, the highest priced player in the history of IPL. Morris is one of the best T20 pacers in the world. In IPL 2020, Morris was excellent in this phase, picking up 7 wickets and conceding only 7.03 runs per over. His overall record in the overs 17-20 is extraordinary too. Morris will be RR’s biggest hope in the death overs phase in the absence of Jofra Archer.
PBKS, on the other hand, have acquired the services of Australian pacemen, Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith. These two along with Mohammad Shami could form a potent bowling unit in the upcoming edition of the IPL. Richardson was terrific in the Big Bash League 2020-21, picking up 29 wickets. He was effectiveness in all the phases was impressive. At the death overs, Jhye picked 11 wickets at an economy rate of 8.76. Riley Meredith for Hobart Hurricanes bowled 8.2 overs in the death overs phase and conceded runs at 8.64. PBKS would hope that the duo will be at their best.
Both Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings have also been two of the worst performing teams in the death overs with the bat. In last 3 years, PBKS has the second worst run-rate in overs 17-20 with 9.88 rpo while RR is third worst team with 10.01 run-rate in the phase.
In the 2021 IPL auction, PBKS have brought in two power-hitters, Shahrukh Khan and Fabian Allen. But given the chances of Allen starting in playing xi, PBKS will be light at the back end. They will need one of the top 4 batting through the innings.
Same goes for RR, who could be very top heavy if they decide to play Jos Buttler at the top of the order. RR will be hoping that Morris brings his power-hitting touch with him and Riyan Parag steps up. If they decide to bat Buttler in the middle order, he has the ability to take care of the matter.