IPL 2023, PBKS vs KKR: Decoding the key player battles
Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will cross swords in Match 2 of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL). Mohali's PCA Stadium will host the contest on Saturday (April 1). PBKS duo Liam Livingstone and Kagiso Rabada will miss their side's opening clash. Nitish Rana will lead KKR in injured Shreyas Iyer's absence. Here are the possible player battles on display.
Shikhar Dhawan vs Umesh Yadav
PBKS opener Shikhar Dhawan and KKR pacer Umesh Yadav are bound to tackle each other as they start the proceedings in their respective departments. Notably, Yadav (55) is among the only five bowlers with 50 or more powerplay wickets in IPL. However, he has only dismissed Dhawan once in 14 meetings. The PBKS skipper boasts a strike rate of 118.75 in this battle.
Shahrukh Khan vs Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine is one of those rare spinners who enjoy bowling the death overs. In IPL, he concedes runs at a paltry rate of 7.35 in the final five overs. Shahrukh Khan, who has aced the role of the finisher in domestic cricket lately, will look to take Narine to the cleaners. He strikes at 170.54 in the final five overs in T20 cricket.
Nitish Rana vs Rahul Chahar
KKR's stand-in skipper Nitish Rana might have to tackle Rahul Chahar's leg spin in the middle overs. Notably, the left-handed batter has fallen prey to leggies 18 times in 45 IPL innings. Moreover, Chahar has dismissed him twice in just three meetings in the competition. Rana has gathered 25 runs against him off 19 deliveries. His strike rate reads 131.57 in this battle.
Andre Russell vs Arshdeep Singh
Over the last couple of years, Arshdeep Singh has emerged as a dependable bowler in death overs. However, tackling Andre Russell in that phase would take some beating. The KKR star owns 16 runs off six deliveries against Arshdeep in the slog overs. The left-arm pacer has dismissed him once. Russell boasts an IPL strike rate of 197.19 in the final five overs.
Pitch report, timing, and broadcast details
As mentioned, the PCA Stadium in Mohali will host the duel. The track here generally favors the batters with the outfield being on the quicker side. Pacers can also get assistance. 168 reads the average first innings score here. While Star Sports Network would provide the live telecast (3: 30 PM IST), Viacom18 and JioCinema hold the streaming rights.