The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League is right around the corner. Cricket enthusiasts all over the world are in anticipation to witness top T20 players in action. The last season witnessed the Gujarat Titans lifting the trophy in their debut season under the leadership of Hardik Pandya.
Like the previous edition, a total of 10 teams will take part in the cash-rich T20 league. The league stage of the tournament will take place from March 31 to May 21, followed by the playoffs.
On that note, let’s take a look at how Punjab Kings are stacked up ahead of the 2023 edition of the IPL.
- 1 Can PBKS win the IPL 2023?
- 2 Punjab Kings Squad: IPL 2023
- 3 Punjab Kings Squad: Strengths and Weaknesses
- 4 Punjab Kings History
- 5 Punjab Kings IPL 2023 Schedule
Can PBKS win the IPL 2023?
Punjab Kings possess a strong squad, who have all the chances to go through to the playoffs. They will be captained by Shikhar Dhawan, who has gained captaincy exposure with India in the ODI format over the last two years. Moreover, Dhawan is the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament’s history and has been part of the IPL since 2008. He can handle the pressure well, which might help him to take the right decisions at an important juncture of the tournament.
The well-rounded bowling attack with the experience of Kagiso Rabada, Sam Curran and Arshdeep Singh certainly put them in a sweet spot. The other two options, Rahul Chahar and Rishi Dhawan are proven performers in the domestic circuit and will keep the team in good stead in the middle overs.
In the batting unit, Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma and Shahrukh Khan possess the ability to take the game away from the opposition at any point of the game.
All in all, Punjab Kings have quality players in the squad, and have the skill and experience to win the IPL 2023. However, they would need to play according to the match situations and trust their inner instincts.
Punjab Kings Squad: IPL 2023
Big names from IPL 2023 auction: Sam Curran
After a strictly average performance in the 2022 edition, Punjab released their captain Mayank Agarwal, who scored only 196 runs at an average of 16.33. Furthermore, they let go of some of the underperforming players like Odean Smith and Sandeep Sharma.
With a fresh perspective and energy, the Punjab-based franchise snapped the services of Sam Curran for a whopping 18.5 Crores, which is the most expensive acquisition in the tournament’s history. It was due to the fact that Curran was named Player of the Tournament in the 2022 T20 World Cup, and had produced impressive performances in the past in the IPL for Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. Another notable buy for them was all-rounder Sikandar Raza, who has been flying high with his antics for Zimbabwe and various franchises across the T20 leagues.
In the 2023 season, Shikhar Dhawan has been appointed as the skipper of the franchise. He has led in 11 IPL matches before this season and has a 45.45% winning record. The southpaw is the second-highest run-scorer in IPL history with 6,244 runs and will be the key player for the Kings.
Punjab will miss the services of Englishman Jonny Bairstow, who is still recovering from injury. The onus will be on the likes of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone to lead the charge in the middle-overs.
In the bowling unit, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar and Arshdeep Singh are proven performers and will look to be potent with their performances.
Full Punjab Kings Squad:
Shikhar Dhawan (c), Shahrukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Harpreet Bhatia, Vidwath Kaverappa, Mohit Rathee, Shivam Singh, Matthew Short
Probable Playing XI:
Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sam Curran, Shahrukh Khan, Rishi Dhawan, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Kagiso Rabada
Punjab Kings Squad: Strengths and Weaknesses
● Experienced bowling attack
Over the years, Punjab Kings have possessed quality T20 batters in their line-up but focussed less on their bowling unit. The lack of experienced bowling resources were the key reason for their defeats especially in their pursuit to defend strong totals and kept them away from the playoffs.
However, the 2022 edition witnessed them using Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh to good effect. Although the results did not go in their favour, the duo provided a glimpse of their abilities, especially in the death overs with their toe-crushing yorkers and variations.
In this season, Sam Curran will return to his former franchise and provide a strong balance in both departments. Interestingly, the southpaw registered a hat-trick in the 2019 season for Punjab and finished with nine wickets. Alongside the fast bowling trio, the leg-spinner Rahul Chahar will look to make a fighting comeback in 2023.
● Power-packed batting line-up
One quality which has been constant in the Punjab line-up is their armoury in the batting department. Despite them not reaching the playoffs in the last few editions, many players have left an everlasting impact with their mesmerizing stroke play.
Apart from skipper Shikhar Dhawan, the team consists of batters like Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan and Jitesh Sharma. All these four players have been terrific with their ball-striking abilities, and have a good amount of exposure in T20s.
In particular, Livingstone managed to produce credible knocks in the last season and would want to continue the same form. On the other hand, the fearless attitude of Sharma and Khan will help them gain an advantage in the middle-overs.
To add the icing on to the cake, Curran is another fantastic batter, who can provide a flourish in the final overs, and take the team to good totals on most occasions.
● Over-reliance on Shikhar Dhawan
Although the Punjab Kings line-up possesses exciting T20 batters in their XI, they need to play responsible cricket to reach a certain total on the board. In the last season, the line-up faltered in their strategy to fire all cylinders from the word go. Although they opted for their natural approach, it could not work in their favour due to the strong opposition. More often than not, Kings posted below-par totals due to reckless dismissals.
Over the years, the skipper Shikhar Dhawan has shown his calmness at the crease in crunch moments. Likewise, he will have to play the role of an anchor in this edition as well, to let other batters play freely and help the team’s cause.
● Lack of solid back-ups
When analyzed according to the overall squad, Punjab Kings don’t possess the quality bench strength. The spin department is certainly lacking, with Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar as the known spinners, who could not proficient enough in the last edition.
Apart from Sikandar Raza, none of the batters/all-rounders on the bench is known to leave a strong impact on the opposition. It could have a negative impact on the team’s performances owing to less experience in the squad, apart from the possible first XI.
Punjab Kings History
The Punjab Kings have produced underwhelming performances in the IPL since its inception. The 2008 season saw them reaching the semi-finals under the able leadership of their icon player, Yuvraj Singh. They stood second in the league stage with 10 wins in 14 league matches. However, the Punjab-based franchise could not continue its dominance against Chennai Super Kings in the semi-finals.
In the subsequent five editions, Punjab could not advance to the final stage and remained low-key in the competition. In 2014, Australian batter George Bailey led the side to wins in 11 of their 14 league matches, which saw them top the points table. In their maiden final appearance in the season, a terrific effort helped them to post a strong total of 19, but the Kolkata Knight Riders managed to secure a thrilling victory in the last over.
Since then, the Kings have been rather inconsistent with their performances and failed to reach the playoffs. In the 2022 edition, they secured seven victories in 14 games and finished seventh in the points table under Mayank Agarwal.
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Punjab Kings IPL 2023 Schedule
- April 1 – Punjab Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Mohali (3:30 PM IST)
- April 5 – Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings, Guwahati (7:30 PM IST)
- April 9 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Punjab Kings, Hyderabad (7:30 PM IST)
- April 13 – Punjab Kings vs Gujarat Titans, Mohali (7:30 PM IST)
- April 15 – Lucknow Super Giants vs Punjab Kings, Lucknow (7:30 PM IST)
- April 20 – Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mohali (3:30 PM IST)
- April 22 – Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, Mumbai (7:30 PM IST)
- April 28 – Punjab Kings vs Lucknow Super Giants, Mohali (7:30 PM IST)
- April 30 – Chennai Super Kings vs Punjab Kings, Chennai (3:30 PM IST)
- May 3 – Punjab Kings vs Mumbai Indians, Mohali (7:30 PM IST)
- May 8 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings, Kolkata (7:30 PM IST)
- May 13 – Delhi Capitals vs Punjab Kings, Delhi (7:30 PM IST)
- May 17 – Punjab Kings vs Delhi Capitals, Dharamsala (7:30 PM IST)
- May 19 – Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Dharamsala (7:30 PM IST)