Punjab Kings (PBKS) face Delhi Capitals (DC) today at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad seeking a second consecutive win. The KL Rahul-led side got past Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their previous match and another win today would hold them in good stead to challenge for a playoff spot. The all-round performance is bound to have delighted PBKS, but DC won’t be easy to beat.
The Rishabh Pant-led side are flying high at the moment with five wins in seven matches. They made a statement in their previous match with some fearless cricket led by Prithvi Shaw. Further, in the previous fixture between the two, Shikhar Dhawan demolished the PBKS bowling attack. DC would thus be a hard nut to crack and would begin this match as favourites.
On that note, we take a look at how PBKS can defeat DC.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs DC – Key for PBKS #1: Middle order must fire
Punjab Kings’ biggest concern in their batting is the middle order. The side have collapsed more often that not whenever they’ve lost their top 3 early. With a batting line-up that is not so deep as well, it is imperative for the middle order to step up to the plate and be a reliable one.
The key today would thus be for the likes of Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran (if picked) and Shahrukh Khan to be among the runs. If they can do so and hit some big shots in the middle overs and the death, PBKS could eye a huge score, irrespective of which innings it is.
IPL 2021: PBKS vs DC – Key for PBKS #2: Stop DC openers
Delhi Capitals’ Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan are in the form of their lives as an opening pair. The two have been doing the bulk of the scoring and at least one of the two has stepped up in nearly every match this season. Shaw showed how dangerous he can be, in the last game, when he scored 82 in 41. Dhawan has proved time and again that he is still one of the best in the world.
It would thus be absolutely crucial for PBKS to price out the openers early. The likes of Riley Meredith and Mohammed Shami have a huge task at hand and if they manage to do so, the DC middle order could be exposed early, putting them under more pressure.