Punjab Kings handed three debuts in their opening game of the Indian Premier League 2021 season against Rajasthan Royals on Monday. While domestic star Shahrukh Khan was named in the playing XI, Australia pacers Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson were also given their maiden caps for the team.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals also handed four to three players - Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, and Shivam Dube all playing their first game for the franchise. Manan Vohra, who had played for Punjab between 2013 and 2016, also made his debut for playing XI.
"We are going to bowl first. We have challenges to face while picking the XI. But I am happy with the players we have. Morris, Stokes, Buttler, Mustafizur are our overseas players. Very excited about the role," RR skipper Sanju Samson said at the toss.
"We all know the history of Wankhede. Everyone wants to bowl first. But we would want to play good cricket. We can't really pinpoint anything particular. It is about the batting group helping the bowling group and vice versa. We were really happy with the auctions. Meredith, Richardson, Gayle and Pooran are our foreign players," PBKS captain KL Rahul added.
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