Punjab Kings Predicted XI vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2023: Which Pair Will Open The Innings For PBKS?
With Jonny Bairstow ruled out, PBKS have to test a new opening batter. Here is what we think could be the combination they could go ahead with in the opening game -
Under the leadership of new captain Shikhar Dhawan, Punjab Kings are all set to begin their campaign for the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday. Led by the veteran opening batter Dhawan, the Kings will be guided by World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss, as they eye their maiden IPL title. PBKS will also keep high hopes from England all-rounder Sam Curran, who became the costliest buy with a sum of Rs 18.50 crore at IPL auctions 2023.
The team will miss the service of star pacer Kagiso Rabada in the first game as he is on national duty. In his absence, Arshdeep Singh will have more responsibilities on his shoulders. However, PBKS are likely to rope in Nathan Ellis in the playing XI to fill the void of Rabada.
PBKS will also be missing Liam Livingstone in their first game and this might see their new recruit Sikandar Raza getting a chance to feature in the playing XI. He was bought for Rs 50 lakh at IPL auctions 2023.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shahrukh Khan and Jitesh Sharma are the star batters at the middle-order of PBKS.
The team had finished at the sixth spot last season and it would definitely hope for an improved show this season. Inconsistency has hurt Punjab badly over the years and Bayliss will have to find a way to optimise the performance of a squad that looks formidable on paper. Punjab finished sixth in the past four seasons and reached their only final in 2014.
Punjab Kings Predicted XI vs Kolkata Knight Riders:
Shikhar Dhawan(c), Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shahrukh Khan, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sikandar Raza, Sam Curran, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar