PBKS vs CSK in IPL 2021: KL Rahul’s love affair with Wankhede; Can CSK & Dhoni find a solution?

PBKS vs CSK in IPL 2021: KL Rahul's love affair with Wankhede; Can CSK & Dhoni find a solution?
PBKS vs CSK in IPL 2021: KL Rahul's love affair with Wankhede; Can CSK & Dhoni find a solution?

PBKS vs CSK in IPL 2021: KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings (PBKS) are set to take on three-time Indian Premier League winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Wankhede Stadium, on 16th April. While PBKS comes after winning their opening tie, Dhoni’s men succumbed to a loss against Delhi Capitals. Coming into today’s match, Dhoni however has an added headache to deal with- KL Rahul’s impeccable form at Wankhede.

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The 28-year-old has scored two fifties and one century for Punjab Kings in his three games so far at this iconic venue. Interestingly, KL Rahul has never been dismissed for a score below 90 at this venue while donning the red of Punjab. His last 3 scores at the venue reads- 94. 100*, 91.

PBKS vs CSK in IPL 2021: Why KL Rahul is so successful in Wankhede?

There is something magical about the Wankhede Stadium which seems to be working wonders for KL Rahul. It seems to get the right tune out of the Punjab Kings skipper, and with the skipper on song, the team has had a gala time more often than not.

The pitch and the stadium feel like it has been tailor-made for Rahul, who enjoys the extra pace on offer on the grassy surfaces at the Wankhede. More often than not, the ball comes on nicely onto the bat, and for a player with the ability and timing of Rahul.

The quick outfields at Wankhede are also a useful asset for an opening batsman like Rahul, who simply needs to bisect the gaps to be assured of a boundary, especially in the powerplay overs. And having got his eye in, Rahul generally has gone on to get a big score, much to the dismay of opposition players.

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Along with the pitch, the stadium too seems to be well suited for the 28-year-old. With short boundaries straight and square of the wicket, Rahul can nonchalantly play two of his favourite shots- the drive over the bowler’s head and the flick over square leg- to great effect, without being too worried of getting caught in the deep.

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In the game against Rajasthan Royals too, Rahul got three of his five sixes playing the drive over the bowler or the pull over square leg, clearing the fence with ease on all occasions.

PBKS vs CSK in IPL 2021: Probable Playing XIs

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Ishan Porel, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi

Chennai Super Kings: Robin Uthappa, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham