It was the year 2008 and season 1 of the Indian Premier League when the Punjab Kings made their first IPL appearance. But the franchise hasn’t been able to get their first IPL trophy in 15 years. They had a dream run in the 2014 season, but they were beaten in the final. Now, they will be eager to end their struggle in the league under the captaincy of Shikhar Dhawan.
Let’s have an insight into the Punjab Kings 2023 squad:
PBKS Squad 2023
Here’s the complete squad of Punjab Kings for the 16th IPL edition:
Shikhar Dhawan(c), Harpreet Bhatia, Shahrukh Khan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Atharva Taide, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Shivam Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Vidwath Kaverappa, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Mohit Rathee
Punjab Kings Likely Starting XI
Underlying is the probable first-choice XI of the PBKS:
- Shikhar Dhawan (c)
- Jonny Bairstow (wk)
- Harpreet Bhatia
- Sam Curran
- Liam Livingstone
- Raj Bawa
- Shahrukh Khan
- Rahul Chahar
- Arshdeep Singh
- Kagiso Rabada
- Vidwath Kaverappa
PBKS Squad Strengths
The top strengths of the Punjab team are:
Experienced Opening Duo
Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow will feature at the top for the Kings. The two veterans have more than thirteen and a half thousand T20 runs between them. Their experience at the top of the order could help the Punjab side revive itself. Bairstow is more of a go-hard-at-the-start kind of player. Whereas Dhawan likes to take his time before changing gears. That’s why these two complement each other pretty well.
The left-hander is one of the highest run scorers in the league. He has played all 15 seasons and piled up 6244 runs at an average of 35.08. Shikhar has represented 5 different franchises in the IPL. Those include Mumbai Indians, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Capitals, and Punjab Kings. PBKS bought him in the IPL 2022 mega auction, and he scored 460 runs in his first season for them. In his last 7 seasons, he averages over 34 and has scored over 450 runs in each of them. Punjab will expect similar consistency from him this year too.
His opening partner Jonny Bairstow joined the richest cricket league in 2019. He started his IPL career with the Sunrisers Hyderabad. In his first season, he scored 445 runs in just 10 outings. These runs came at a brilliant average of 55.63 and a blazing strike rate of 157.24. He played a couple more seasons for the same team and scored a total of 1038 runs at an average of 41.52 for them. His strike rate in these 3 years was 142.19.
Then, he was roped in by PBKS in 2022 and played 11 games in the edition. He scored 253 runs while averaging exactly 23. His strike rate was 144.57, and he scored a couple of half-centuries in the process. It will be the second year for this pair to bat together for this team. It’s quite certain that this duo will be the pillar of Pubjab’s batting lineup.
The Duo of English All Rounders
Punjab Kings bought Sam Curran for 18.5 crores in the mini auction as he became the most expensive IPL player ever. After spending so much on him, Punjab will expect him to pay them back with his performance. Curran will likely bat in Kings’ middle order as he can dominate spin. His IPL strike rate of 149.78 further backs this point.
But his prime strength is his bowling. Sam was the Player of the Series in the previous year’s T20 World Cup. In his 3 years of IPL career, he has picked 32 wickets in as many matches. The left-arm pacer was also part of the Champion Chennai Super Kings team in 2021. If Punjab Kings have to reach the playoffs of IPL 2023, they need Sam Curran to be on top of his game.
The other key all-rounder in this team will be Liam Livingstone. Many don’t consider him a proper bowler, but he is more than handy in Indian conditions. He even got 6 wickets in the previous IPL season. But his main duty is to contribute with the bat, and he is more than capable of doing so. The hard hitter has amassed 549 runs in the league at a stunning strike rate of 166.87. These two all-rounders bring balance to this team.
PBKS Squad Weaknesses
Let’s discuss the low points of this squad:
Below Par Local Players’ Lot
Apart from Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul Chahar, and Arshdeep Singh, the other local players in the squad are not heavily impressive. They are short on experience as well as quality. A few of those players have not even played in the league before. That’s why PBKS’ likely XI doesn’t look like a threatening one.
Average Spin Bowlers
Rahul Chahar is the only quality spin-bowling option in the squad. He too, is not in great form. The Pace battery looks good with Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, and Arshdeep Singh. But, the spinners might not be able to offer enough support to them.
Players To Watch Out
Here are the key players for PBKS in IPL 16:
Punjab’s captain is going to be the mainstay in their batting unit. He is expected to score a bulk of runs to help his side. Dhawan’s starting price is ₹146. It makes him the most valuable player in his team.
The emerging fast-bowler has the ability to control the innings both with the new and old ball. His base price for IPL 2023 is ₹99.
The most expensive player in IPL history will carry the hopes of all the Punjab fans. The starting value of this 3-dimensional player is ₹142.
The leggie will lead PBKS’s spin bowling unit in the upcoming IPL. You can buy his PCs now for just ₹104.
KG is arguably one of the best fast bowlers of this era. His pace and swing can cause trouble for any opposition. His current price in Sportiqo’s market is ₹113.
Punjab Kings IPL 2023 Prediction
PBKS have got some top-quality players in their squad, but the overall team doesn’t look too threatening. In comparison to the other teams, their side looks way below par. So, we expect them to finish the tournament at the bottom of the table.
Final Prediction: League stage elimination.