After Punjab Kings had opened their IPL 2021 campaign with a massive 221-run score, big things were anticipated from them, especially their batting unit. But as we found out later, this team has a problem with consistency.
They’d amass a score in excess of 200 one game and manage less than half of that in the very next game, which is exactly what had happened to them.
It is why they have just three wins from their opening eight games and find themselves in the bottom half of the points table.
But whatever position they are in, it’s certainly not because of their captain KL Rahul, who was arguably the best batsman of the tournament when Covid hit back in May. He has 331 runs to his name – haul less than only Shikhar Dhawan’s – and is averaging a mindboggling 66.20 across seven matches.
Mayank Agarwal has also done well and is among the top 10 run scorers of the tournament. However, the bowling unit has been abysmal. Their best bowler is Mohammad Shami, who has just eight wickets in as many matches – hardly impressive figures.
Rajasthan Royals have just as many wins as Punjab Kings albeit having played a match less. Coincidentally, their opening match of the season was with none other than Punjab Kings: the 221-run belter mentioned above.
A Sanju Samson-inspired Rajasthan had almost tracked down that gargantuan target. The captain’s 119 off 63 will long live in our memories but it came in a losing cause, and although the Royals bounced back in the next game, a consistent run of victories never came, which is why they find themselves in the wrong half of the points table.
Regarding Samson, his monstrous start to the tournament sees him feature among the top 10 runs scorers of the tournament but since then his bat has been relatively silent. Over the next half a dozen innings, he scored just 158 runs at an average of 26.33.
In bowling, the Royals have a clear hero in the form of Chris Morris. The South African has 14 wickets to his name – a haul smaller than only Harshal Patel’s (17).