IPL's costliest player, Raza highlights in Dhawan's army: Here's PBKS likely XI vs KKR in IPL 2023

Apr 01, 2023 11:31 AM IST

IPL 2023, PBKS vs KKR: Punjab Kings will rely on captain Shikhar Dhawan and their costliest pick Sam Curran.

The Punjab Kings will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the second match of the Indian Premier League 2023 on Saturday, April 1 at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Under the leadership of Shikhar Dhawan, Punjab will look to start their campaign on a strong note with a win against Kolkata. Over the years, there have been several teams which have had immense talent in their squad but have failed to deliver on the field and hence a title victory has eluded them. One such team is Punjab Kings, who despite having several stars in their squad over the last few seasons have failed to convert talent into notable results. (PBKS vs KKR Live Score IPL 2023)

England's Sam Curran plays in action(Getty)
England's Sam Curran plays in action(Getty)

The PBKS hierarchy has been trigger-happy and prone to multiple changes from game to game, which hasn’t helped the team’s consistency. Punjab have been finishing in the sixth position in the points table since 2019 and they last made it to the playoffs in 2014, when they finished as runners-up, so they will be eager to finally up their game and enter the playoffs after a nine years hiatus.

ALSO READ: PBKS vs KKR: Rain could spoil IPL's return to Mohali in gloomy weather update

Punjab have several big names in their batting line-up namely captain Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Matthew Short, Sikandar Raza, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Sam Curran. In their seam bowling department, they will have the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Curran and Arshdeep Singh and Nathan Ellis to trouble the opposition batters. Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar provide enough variety in the spin department.

Curran was their marquee pick-up in the auction after he was awarded player of the tournament in the T20 World Cup 2022. He was bought for a whopping INR 18.5 crore by the franchise, making him the most expensive player in the history of the IPL. They also roped in Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza to bolster their squad.

Punjab’s reliance on skipper Shikhar Dhawan is a big worry. Dhawan has vast experience of playing in the IPL, with 206 matches in the tournament. The southpaw is the second-highest run scorer in the history of the tournament with 6244 runs to his name at an average of 35 and a strike rate of 126. The opening batter has been performing exceptionally over the past few years and has scored over 400 runs in each edition of the IPL since 2016. But, it remains to be seen if he will be able to get a previously underperforming PBKS side into the playoffs.

One player who will be sorely missed is Englishman Jonny Bairstow, who failed to recover from an injury and will play no part in this season. Mathew Short has been brought in as his replacement, the Australian star was the player of the tournament in the Big Bash League and can be the X-factor for the team.

Liam Livingstone will also miss the opening game of IPL 2023 as he is yet to get a fitness clearance from the ECB after recovering from a knee injury he suffered in December. Kagiso Rabada will also be unavailable as he is on national duty.

PBKS Predicted XI vs KKR

Openers: Shikhar Dhawan, Mathew Short

Top and Middle Order: Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma

All-Rounders: Sikandar Raza, Sam Curran, Rishi Dhawan

Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Ellis

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