Punjab Kings (previously Kings XI Punjab) shocked everyone before the auction when they were unable to retain KL Rahul, the IPL’s current most valuable player. Unfortunately, they were unable to reach an agreement with KL Rahul, who desired to leave the franchise. Along with KL Rahul, Punjab Kings were unable to retain Ravi Bishnoi, who was signed by Lucknow Super Giants.
Despite losing these two players, Punjab Kings were able to retain another famous opener, Mayank Agarwal, for Rs12 crore, as well as their star death overs bowler, Arshdeep Singh, for Rs 4 crore. They had the biggest purse going into the auction, and unlike the previous several auctions, Punjab Kings performed a remarkable job in the auction, having acquired a lot of weaponry.
After losing against the Kolkata Knight Riders last week, PBKS take on Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
Punjab Kings have covered all of their bases with their first 11 players. Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Shahrukh Khan, Jonny Bairstow, and many more top players have joined PBKS with Mayank Agarwal at the helm, as revealed by the franchise lately.
So, considering the sort of team PBKS has put together, what is the best anticipated playing 11 for Punjab Kings in IPL 2022?
Punjab Kings squad
Batters: Bhanuka Rjpaksa, Mayank Agarwal, Prerak Mankad, Shahrukh Khan, Shikhar Dhawan, Jitesh Sharma (WK), Jonny Bairstow (WK) & Prabsimran Singh (WK).
All-rounders: Ansh Patel, Atharva Taide, Benny Howell, Harpreet Brar, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Vaibhav Arora & Writtick Chatterjee.
Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Dhanda, Ishan Porel, Kagiso Rabada, Nathan Ellis, Sandeep Sharma & Rahul Chahar.
Mayank Agarwal gets a new opening partner in Shikhar Dhawan after losing KL Rahul to the Lucknow Super Giants. The southpaw, like KL Rahul, has been a standout performer in the IPL over the previous two years, scoring over 1000 runs. Shikhar Dhawan’s form has been outstanding, to say the least, despite the fact that age has not been kind to him.
Overall, Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal is an exciting opening combo. They are both aggressive and consistent. If they can keep up their form from the previous several years, the right-hand and left-hand aggressive combo can do wonders for the squad. In addition, as the squad’s captain, Mayank Agarwal will be given extra responsibilities.
While the Punjab Kings have a superb opening pair, their middle order is just as good. Jonny Bairstow, who generally plays one down in ODIs, will have to do the same for PBKS. Jonny Bairstow, another naturally combative player, will provide a lot of firepower to the team. He has also performed admirably for SRH in the IPL over the previous few years.
Numbers 4 and 5 would feature Liam Livingstone and Shahrukh Khan, another offensive duo. Livingstone is in the best shape of his life right now, as seen by his performances in several T20 competitions and when representing England. Liam Livingstone, being the most expensive buy-in IPL 2022, will want to live up to expectations and produce for his squad.
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Meanwhile, Shahrukh Khan will have mixed feelings about returning to the same team that didn’t offer him enough opportunity in the IPL 2021. PBKS appeared to be merely attempting to raise the price for CSK during the live auction, but after an intensive offer, CSK chickened out, and Shahrukh was finally acquired by PBKS for INR 9 Cr. Nonetheless, SRK has enormous potential and given regular opportunities, he may be a strong finisher for the squad.
When it comes to all-rounders, PBKS has a variety of possibilities. In addition to Odean Smith and Harpreet Brar, PBKS will rely heavily on Rishi Dhawan to provide batting depth. Rishi Dhawan is in the best shape of his life right now. He has the ability to provide vital runs down the order. Also, as a powerplay bowler, he can easily provide those crucial 2-3 overs.
Meanwhile, Odean Smith and Harpreet Brar provide a strong number 7 and 8 for the team. While Smith is a hard-hitting batsman, as seen by his time with the West Indies, Harpreet Brar can provide vital counter-attacking knocks if needed. Smith is also a capable death Overs bowler, while Harpreet Brar provides a reliable spin alternative.
When it comes to bowling, PBKS has a few yet powerful alternatives. Kagiso Rabada will head their bowling attack, with Rishi Dhawan’s swing and Arshdeep Singh’s cunning providing solid assistance. While Rishi Dhawan is a true powerplay bowler, Arshdeep Singh may be more effective in the death Overs. In addition to the following pacers, PBKS has Odean Smith’s pace.
Rahul Chahar will be in charge of the side’s spin bowling. Chahar has enjoyed a fantastic two years with the Mumbai Indians. Having been ruled out of the Indian team, Chahar will be seeking to make inroads with good bowling. Meanwhile, Harpreet Brar’s sluggish left-arm spin should help PBKS on spin-friendly pitches.
Possible XI of Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Rishi Dhawan, Odean Smith, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh.