Rajasthan Royals take on Punjab Kings at Wankhede Stadium on Monday in what will be the first game for either team in the VIVO IPL 2021 season. Though one match won’t decide the campaign for Kings and Royals, it’s also fair to assume that after the debacles of the last few seasons, both teams could do with a winning start to the season and set the foundation for a successful campaign.
But again, the results and the tactics also revolve around many factors. And ahead of the opening game, a first of its kind for Sanju Samson as he is set to lead the 2008 IPL champions for the first time this season, Royals captain has plenty to ponder upon.
David Miller, along with his teammates Quinton de Kock, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ndidi and Kagiso Rabada, left South Africa for India on April 5. The quarantine period for Covid-19 is seven days at least. Miller’s quarantine period ends on April 12, the day when RR take on PBKS in the VIVO IPL 2021.
Bangladesh bowler Mustafizur Rahman also arrived in India on April 5 and has followed the same medical procedures as Miller and his teammates.
That means, both Rahman and Miller will be completing their quarantine period on April 12, but due to the lack of practice, it’s highly unlikely that the Royals select either Miller or Rahman for their opening game.
RR Four overseas players: Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will walk straight into the RR Playing 11 in any game. Chris Morris’ price tag also makes him an automatic starter against PBKS. Considering Mustafizur Rahman may not play, the fourth and the last overseason spot could be locked by Australian Andrew Tye.
Sanju Samson (C)
Jos Buttler (WK)