First time captain, Sanju Samson has won the toss for the Rajasthan Royals and have opted to bowl in the team's first game against Punjab Kings. Manan Vohra, Mustafizur Rahman and Shivam Dube make their debut for RR. For Punjab, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan and Riley Meredith will be featuring in the playing XI. Punjab will enter the contest with a makeover. They boast of some hard-hitters like Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle. Sanju Samson is the latest keeper captain but that of course won't guarantee a title. A few tweaks have been made to the squad as well but the core of 2020 will mostly have an encore. Punjab on the other hand have continued the chop and change game at the auctions.
Despite their strong comeback, Punjab's inability to close out games led to their early exit in 2020 - the team being let down by some of the big overseas names. The pacers leaked runs in the death overs, the middle order lacked runs, adding pressure on the top order. The lack of depth in the batting order hurt them. In their bid to right the wrongs from the previous year, the Kings have beefed up their pace department with Richardson and Meredith coming in. The teams will be greeted by Mumbai's humidity. Dew will be a factor for Punjab who will be bowling in the second innings.
Punjab Kings (Playing XI): KL Rahul(w/c), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Jos Buttler(w), Manan Vohra, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson(c), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman