IPL 2023, PBKS: Squad analysis, schedule, Probable XI, and verdict
All 10 teams are gearing up as the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to get underway on March 31. Punjab Kings (PBKS) will kick-start their campaign versus Kolkata Knight Riders on April 1. PBKS haven't had many memorable seasons in the past, and under new skipper Shikhar Dhawan, they would be raring to change their fortunes. Here we decode the PBKS squad.
Run in the previous seasons
PBKS didn't enjoy many successful campaigns and they often found themselves crawling at the bottom half of the table. While the IPL title is still elusive for them, they have reached the final just once (2014). The inaugural competition (2008) is the only other season that saw PBKS ending in the top four. PBKS have endured the wooden spoon thrice (2010, 2015, and 2016).
Key signings at the auction
The franchise bought England all-rounder Sam Curran for a record sum of Rs. 18.5 crore, making him the most expensive player in IPL history. In Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza (INR 50 lakh), they bought another in-form all-rounder. Batter Harpreet Bhatia (INR 40 lakh) and all-rounder Shivam Singh (INR 20 lakh) were among the key Indian signings.
A look at the Punjab Kings squad
Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Shahrukh Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Harpreet Bhatia, Vidwath Kaverappa, Mohit Rathee, Shivam Singh
A look at PBKS schedule (1/3)
April 1: vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Mohali at 3:30 PM IST April 5: vs Rajasthan Royals in Guwahati at 7:30 PM IST April 9: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad at 7:30 PM IST April 13: vs Gujarat Titans in Mohali at 7:30 PM IST April 15: vs Lucknow Super Giants vs in Lucknow at 7:30 PM IST
A look at PBKS schedule (2/3)
April 20: vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mohali at 3:30 PM IST April 22: vs Mumbai Indians vs in Mumbai at 7:30 PM IST April 28: vs Lucknow Super Giants in Mohali at 7:30 PM IST April 30: vs Chennai Super Kings in Chennai at 3:30 PM IST
A look at PBKS schedule (3/3)
May 3: vs Mumbai Indians in Mohali at 7:30 PM IST May 8: vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata at 7:30 PM IST May 13: vs Delhi Capitals in Delhi at 7:30 PM IST May 17: vs Delhi Capitals in Dharamsala at 7:30 PM IST May 19: vs Rajasthan Royals in Dharamsala at 7:30 PM IST
Jonny Bairstow set to miss the season
As per Cricbuzz, Jonny Bairstow has been denied the No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the England and Wales Cricket Board to participate in IPL 2023. As Bairstow is a proven performer in the T20 format, his absence would largely dent PBKS' plans.
A look at the Probable XI
PBKS' Probable XI for the opening match: Prabhsimran Singh, Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Sikandar Raza, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wicket-keeper), Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar
What are the strengths of PBKS?
In Shikhar Dhawan, the franchise has one of the most consistent run-scorers in IPL history. Liam Livingstone, Sikandar Raza, and Sam Curran's all-round abilities would provide balance to the side. While Kagiso Rabada is already among the finest pacers going around, Arshdeep Singh has become a force to reckon with in the format. Rahul Chahar's leg spin adds another dimension to the bowling department.
Here are the weak points
As Dhawan tends to take time early on and Bairstow is unavailable, PBKS are lacking a top-order batter who can maximize the powerplay overs. If Shahrukh Khan, who struggled last season, fails to fire, the pressure will mount on Livingstone. Besides Chahar, PBKS do not have a class spinner. Bench strength of PBKS lacks bite. Over the years, too many changes have hurt PBKS.
Verdict: PBKS have some tough questions to answer
A new captain and a revamped Trevor Bayliss-led coaching staff have the onus to change PBKS' fortunes. Though the side has a potent bowling attack, they would play the majority of their games in Mohali, which usually provides batting-friendly tracks. PBKS' batting line-up, which looks unsettled at the moment, can hamper them. Dhawan's prowess as a leader will be tested.Share this timeline