Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit Punjab Kings have assembled a top-notch squad in the recently concluded mega auction. People have been talking about PBKS and how they can be a massive threat for others in the upcoming 15th edition of the cash-rich league. PBKS addressed the majority of the departments, and that makes them sorted.
The main task for the Anil Kumble-coached outfit will be to execute the promise into action on the field. What bodes well for PBKS is the experience they possess. The squad is a good blend of T20 veterans and youngsters in the mix. The purchase of Shikhar Dhawan as a marquee player makes him an ideal candidate as PBKS’ skipper in the 2022 season.
PBKS suffered a blow when KL Rahul decided to move on, but they now want to start fresh.
The players PBKS had retained
With the IPL set to be a 10-team affair, the existing teams had an opportunity to retain at least four players ahead of the auction. The Kings went on to retain the likes of Mayank Agarwal for Rs 12 crore and Arshdeep Singh for Rs 4 crore. They started the 2022 auction with a purse of Rs 72 crore.
Key picks for PBKS in the IPL 2022 auction
PBKS made some stunning buys, and the biggest of the lot was the capture of Dhawan for Rs 8.25 crore. They also shelled out a staggering sum for England wicket-keeper batter Jonny Bairstow for Rs 6.75 crore. They bolstered the bowling by picking up Kagiso Rabada for a sum of Rs 9.25 crore. They also spent heavily on Shahrukh Khan (9 crore). Another key pick for PBKS was Liam Livingstone for Rs 11.25 crore.
A look at PBKS’ complete squad:
Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Benny Howell
What can be PBKS’ playing XI?
Mayank Agarwal: The Indian batter has been a mainstay for PBKS of late, and he has the desired experience to be a quality player upfront. Mayank has amassed 2,131 runs so far. He has scored 400-plus runs in IPL 2020 and 2021, respectively. He has seven fifty-plus scores during this phase.
Shikhar Dhawan: In the veteran southpaw, PBKS have got a proven scorer. With Rahul gone, Dhawan can fill up the void given his exploits in the IPL over the years. Dhawan has 5,784 runs at 34.84. He had scored 500-plus runs across the last three seasons for DC, hammering 12 fifties and two tons.
Jonny Bairstow: The Englishman can be the perfect player for PBKS at number three. He has already shown his attributes for SRH since making his IPL debut in 2019; he averages over 40 and has a strike rate of 142.19. His experience can serve as a massive boost.
Liam Livingstone: Having shelled out a staggering sum for the Englishman, PBKS will hope that the player delivers. Livingstone doesn’t have a sound IPL record, despite scoring freely across other leagues. He has plenty of experience in T20 cricket, and his big-hitting skills will be immense.
Shahrukh Khan: A lot will be expected of Shahrukh, who showed his skills as an entertainer in a sublime 194-run knock against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy recently. Shahrukh is a player of huge potential as PBKS have tapped into the same. He has a crucial season ahead of him.
Raj Bawa: The ICC U-19 World Cup final hero can be a surprise package for PBKS. He has all the attributes to become a fine cricketer in the future. Bawa is an all-rounder, and PBKS will try and get the best out of him. If they can back him, Bawa may end up being a key asset.
Odean Smith: PBKS spent heavily on West Indian all-rounder Odean Smith, who did well in the ODIs versus India recently. Smith has quickly grown in stature, and he can be a primary asset with both bat and ball. He has a strike rate of 155.88 in T20Is.
Harpreet Brar: The all-rounder brings more depth to this PBKS side. Harpreet will hope to get a consistent amount of game time. He has what it takes to make useful contributions. He can be a key player for PBKS and do well with bat and ball.
Rahul Chahar: The young spinner got a sound deal after being released by Mumbai Indians. Chahar has grown into a vital cricketer, and he has the credentials backing him. Working with Kumble will help him gain more experience. Since making his debut in 2019, he has claimed 43 wickets.
Arshdeep Singh: The left-arm pacer has impressed largely with his variations and slower balls. An intelligent bowler, Arshdeep was retained by PBKS and will hopefully showcase his strengths in the upcoming season. In IPL 2021. Arshdeep claimed 18 wickets to convince PBKS.
Kagiso Rabada: The South African speedster will lead PBKS’ bowling attack. Rabada is the real deal both upfront and at the death. He has all the tricks up his sleeves. With 76 wickets from 50 games, Rabada can give PBKS the ideal platform with the ball.