The Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals will compete in the 66th match of the IPL 2023. The encounter may still have playoff implications, with five games remaining in the league phase.
Both PBKS and RR have secured 12 points in 13 matches, making it exceedingly unlikely that they will qualify for the playoffs. However, there are still probabilities that the winning team can qualify with 14 points.
The only way to do so is by registering a massive win, similar to the RCB vs. RR cricket match. Even if the winning team does not qualify, it can secure the sixth spot in IPL 2023. These finishes help the teams play easier matches at the start of the next IPL.
Thus, both RR and PBKS will enter the match with the intent to win big.
PBKS: Striving for Consistency
The Punjab Kings are among the teams with a decent qualification chance for a significant part of the competition. The team is currently placed 8th with 12 points in 13 matches. They are tied with RR for points but have an NRR of -0.308.
Aside from a century from Prabhsimran Singh, PBKS has not produced memorable results in this IPL. With RCB, CSK, and LSG in contention for the remaining playoff spot, it is almost over for teams like PBKS.
While there is a statistical possibility for their qualification, two of the mentioned teams must lose their remaining games by massive margins. In addition, PBKS will have to defeat RR considerably to get their NRR positive.
That is why the team will rely on its two reliable batsmen, Simran Singh, and Shikhar Dhawan. The players must provide an explosive start against RR, followed by Liam Livingstone attacking the bowlers in the middle and death overs.
Given RR’s challenges while pursuing, PBKS will need a large score to win the match.
RR: Fighting for Survival
Unlike SRH, PBKS, and DC, RR is not a team that deserves to be in the bottom half of the table.
The team has a standout star, Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is contending for the Orange Cap. With 575 runs in 13 matches, the batsman is only behind Faf and Gill in terms of runs this season. That is why Jaiswal is the first pick among fantasy players on the best cricket betting sites.
RR also has reliable players like Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson, who have performed decently in the IPL 2023. Even Chahal has been critical for RR, contending for the Purple Cap with 21 wickets. Despite such performances, RR has failed to buckle in crunch situations.
With this being their final match in IPL 2023, the team will try to salvage its position. A big win against PBKS can still be a statistical possibility for RR. Thus, they will rely on Jaiswal, Samson, and Chahal to work wonders in the game.
Clash of Strategies and Tactics
PBKS has been a subpar team throughout the season without any true standouts. Shikhar Dhawan and Simran Singh have been the only two consistent names in the team. However, both players have only scored 356 runs each, while the Orange Cap holder has crossed 700 runs already.
The team has a lukewarm batting lineup struggling in IPL 2023. It will be on Dhawan, Simran, and Livingstone to help the team post or chase a big total.
On the other hand, RR appears to be a superior and more balanced team. The team will also rely on its batting lineup to pressure PBKS. Moreover, RR’s excellent bowling attack will also be used to target Dhawan and Simran early on.
RR will certainly deploy Trent Boult and Sandeep Sharma in the early overs against Simran and Dhawan. As for Livingstone, the player will surely face Chahal in the middle overs.
PBKS will target the standout in RR’s team, Yashasvi Jaiswal, early on, and their best option against him is Arshdeep Singh.
Impact on Playoff Race
The cricket match between PBKS and RR won’t have any direct impact on the playoff race. Both teams can only muster 14 points with their below-average NRRs.
However, a massive win in Match 66 can still trouble RCB, LSG, and CSK in their run. RR has a relatively better chance of qualifying than PBKS, so the team will look for a huge win here.
Fan Expectations and Excitement
Fans of other teams besides RR and PBKS will closely follow the match. Bangalore, Chennai, and Lucknow fans will hope for an even match, with either side winning after a tough battle.
Cricket fans are also expecting a challenging battle, seeing how the teams have barely anything to lose at this point. The match will be played in Dharamshala, so Punjab is expected to have better support.
However, the fans have been showcasing equal support for both teams, regardless of their status. So, expect huge support for Jaiswal and Dhawan regardless of the team’s status during the match.
The repercussions of Match 66 between PBKS and RR in the playoff race are minimal. Nonetheless, a monumental victory can provide the winning team with a glimmer of hope.
Both teams will enter the match to score a large number of points and eliminate their opponent. Given that this is only Dharamshala’s second match, regardless of the teams competing, the spectator turnout will be enormous.
It is natural to anticipate a close contest between the two, given that one must triumph decisively. Even CSK, RCB, and LSG supporters will watch the match to improve their teams’ qualification chances. If you want to know how the IPL 2023 playoffs will unfold, follow the game closely.