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IPL 2021 preview: PBKS looks to keep up with relentless approach as CSK eyes turnaround

This is the 14th edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League. Punjab Kings is one of the three IPL sides to have not won the title yet, as it looks to write history in 2021. Chennai Super Kings is a former three-time champion but is on a downward spiral since 2020.

IPL 2021 preview: PBKS looks to keep up with relentless approach as CSK eyes turnaround-ayh
Mumbai, First Published Apr 15, 2021, 6:51 PM IST
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Barely into a week of the Indian Premier League 2021, all the matches so far have turned out to be thrillers. In similar expectations, Punjab Kings takes on former champion Chennai Super Kings in Match 8 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.

PBKS is slowly turning up the heat and is emerging as a potential title contender since 2020, while CSK has been going downward. As the match promises to be a thriller and unpredictable, we present the preview.

Current form
Speaking of current form, both sides have played a match so far. While PBKS registered a thrilling win over Rajasthan Royals by just four runs, CSK lost by seven wickets to powerhouse Delhi Capitals.

Team composition and combination
As for the teams, PBKS has a balanced one in all departments. However, considering its capped talents, it is in abundance in the batting department compared to bowling. Thus, its bowling could be a tide weaker than that to the bowling.

Considering CSK, it too has a balanced squad across departments. Also, with equally distributed capped talents in both departments, CSK has a good team. However, consistency is what that has hurt it since last season.

Injury concerns
While CSK had a pre-season injury concern for Josh Hazlewood, he has been replaced by Jason Behrendorff. As for PBKS, the entire squad is injury-free for now.

Of the 24 games played between the two, CSK has won 15, with PBKS winning nine. In 23 IPL clashes, CSK has won 14, while PBKS has nine wins. There have been 19 games in India, with CSK leading 11-8, while at Wankhede, they have played on two occasions, with both winning apiece.

Weather and pitch report
The Mumbai weather would be hot, with a temperature around 33 degrees and 57% of humidity. The track would remain sporty, while the bowlers can affect the closing stages as the game progresses.

Probable XI
Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (c & wk), Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami.
CSK: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar.

Fantasy XI
Raina, Gayle, Rayudu, Hooda (vc)- Gayle gives an explosive start, followed by Raina'sstability at number three, while Rayudu and Hooda would consolidate in the middle. Hooda's determination with the bat makes him the vice-captain.
Wicketkeeper: Rahul (c)- The only man in the department is Rahul, while his current form also makes him the skipper.
All-rounders: Jadeja, Ali, Curran- Jadeja is a no-brainer owing to his ability to make an impact in all departments, while Moeen, too, is likely to do the same. As for Curran, his rise in form with the bat of late makes him a must-have.
Bowlers: Shami, Thakur, Anureet- In an all-out pace attack, we have Shami, who has deadly seam abilities, while Thakur and Anureet's rising form with their pace makes them good inclusions, worthy of generating enough points.

Match details
Date and day:
April 16, 2021 (Friday)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar

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