IPL 2023: After the mini-auction, PBKS’s best-predicted playing XI
Since 2008, only Punjab Kings (PBKS) have qualified for the playoff stage a few times over their 15 seasons in the Indian Premier League (IPL), making them the league’s most inconsistent side. Despite possessing a lot of talent and experience, they had trouble in the previous iteration reaching the playoff stage. They attempted to have an influence on the competition under their new captain Mayank Agarwal. But with seven wins and an equal number of losses in their 14 games, they ended the competition poorly.
The team released some players in November of last year, including some notable players like Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, and Mayank Agarwal, who struggled with his bat and captaincy. They participated in the mini-auction with the INR 32.2 crore they had left over, of which they spent more than half on Sam Curran. The Kings attracted a lot of attention when they paid a premium fee of 18.5 crore to acquire the English all-rounder. They now anticipate the youngster to play a key role in the 2023 season, both with the bat and the ball, in order to assist the Kings in winning their first championship. They recruited some young Indian cricketers who are well-known on the home circuit in addition to Curran.
Here is the playing XI of PBKS after the conclusion of the mini-auction:
1. Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow’s aggressive batting style has helped England win many games. Jonny Bairstow made his debut for Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the previous edition and contributed a pair of half-centuries, one of which came against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a successful match. His entire performance, however, fell short of expectations as he only managed to score 253 runs at a strike rate of 144.57 in 11 games.
Punjab retained the English cricketer for the upcoming season despite his lacklustre performance for the squad, demonstrating their confidence in him. He played just three T20Is in the previous season and amassed 147 runs at a strike rate of 141.34. Due to an unexpected injury he sustained while playing golf, he was unable to compete in the T20 World Cup in 2022.
He might make a comeback in international cricket in the first quarter of 2023, which is good news for Punjab Kings. His presence will be crucial for his IPL team and will also help the batting order. He has played in 39 IPL games so far, scoring 1,291 runs at an incredible strike rate of 142.65.
2. Shikhar Dhawan (Captain)
Shikhar Dhawan has been named the new captain of the Punjab Kings for the 2023 IPL following the departure of Mayank Agarwal. For the franchise to have a successful season in the future, his expertise and potential are essential. In 14 games last year, he scored 460 runs with his bat, including three half-centuries, and he appeared in good shape.
The veteran has a tonne of experience playing in the league, having spent time with teams like the Delhi Capitals (DC), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) between 2008 and 2021. For his services last year, Punjab Kings (PBKS) paid INR 8.25 crore at the super auction. With series victories over the West Indies and South Africa in 2022, Dhawan demonstrated strong performances as India’s captain.
The Kings gave him the captaincy after observing his stellar achievements while wearing a blue shirt. The southpaw will now try to show that the franchise made the right choice by helping it win its first championship with his batting and leadership abilities.
3. Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan made headlines when Punjab Kings (PBKS) purchased him in the 2022 super auction with a staggering INR 9.00 crore. The Kings didn’t think twice about spending more money on him after seeing his ability to win games in the 2021 season. The young player participated in eight games of the 2022 season, scoring just 117 runs with a pitiful strike rate of 108.33.
Despite failing to give the franchise consistent batting averages, he was included on the PBKS retention list that was published in November. He failed to be among the runs in the recently finished domestic tournaments Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy as well.
The franchise will be hoping for some excellent knocks from him in the forthcoming IPL season. He will be trusted to serve the team as a lower middle-order batter to end games because of his power-hitting skills. He batted at number three against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL match from the previous season, and his innings of 19 run off 10 balls with two fours and a maximum displayed his confidence. The team might assign him to bat in the top order after seeing such a performance.
4. Liam Livingstone
At the mega auction last year, PBKS paid an enormous price of INR 11.5 crore to purchase the explosive English batter Liam Livingstone. He responded by demonstrating his bat proficiency by scoring 437 runs in 14 games with a fantastic strike rate of 182.08. He will likely strengthen the batting order for PBKS in the upcoming edition with his aggressive playing style.
Livingstone batted at number four last season as a top-order batsman, but when the team needed a finisher most, he could also step up with his match-winning abilities. Livingstone’s ferocious batting style has helped his country’s team, England, win numerous T20I games.
He has the ability to help the club out as a bowler as well. He got six wickets for PBKS last year, albeit at a pricey average of 8.78. The franchise would anticipate that he would raise his bowling average this time.
5. Raj Bawa
Raj Bawa was purchased by PBKS for INR 2 crore at the 2022 mega auction in recognition of his outstanding all-around performances for the India under-19 cricket team in the under-19 World Cup and ACC under-19 World Cup. He only managed to score 11 runs in the few games he played in, therefore he couldn’t really contribute anything remarkable to the team.
The Kings again included Bawa on their list of retained players in November, demonstrating their confidence in him. This time, the Kings may have faith in the young player to give his all for the team and establish credibility through his all-around performances. He might be expected to strengthen the team in the forthcoming competition with his all-around abilities.
He attempted to rediscover his form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022–2023 by scoring 78 runs and taking three wickets in four games. For PBKS, his talent and potential could help him perform better in the 2023 season.
6. Jitesh Sharma (Wicketkeeper)
Jitesh Sharma, a batter for Vidarbha, was purchased for INR 20 lakh at the 2022 mega auction, giving him the opportunity to play for PBKS last year. He batted with assurance, scoring 234 runs in 12 games at a great strike rate of 163.63. He demonstrated his talent and demonstrated his effectiveness while playing as a lower middle-order batter.
He quickly made it onto the PBKS retention list thanks to his outstanding performance and will now take part in the franchise’s 2023 campaign once more. Sharma once again demonstrated his strength while representing Vidarbha in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022–23 by scoring 224 runs in 10 matches with an amazing strike rate of 175.00.
After seeing his outstanding batting statistics in 2022, the team might not think twice about giving him a chance to play in the starting XI the following year. This season may be the ideal chance for the 29-year-old batsman to establish himself as a notable wicketkeeper-batter.
7. Sam Curran
Sam Curran’s career peak came in 2022 when he won the T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament award. In six games, the English all-rounder took 13 wickets for a fantastic economy of 6.52. His efforts paid off in the most recent IPL mini-auction, as he signed for INR 18.5 crore, making him the most expensive player in league history.
He will rejoin the team after four years, having played for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2020 and 2021. He missed the competition the previous year as he recovered from a back injury. He will make his return unique this time by giving his squad some outstanding numbers with both bat and ball.
The 24-year-old has given PBKS and CSK some game-winning blows, but when it comes to his overall record, he has taken 32 wickets in 32 games at a high economy rate of 9.21. He will aim to boost his numbers this season by excelling with the ball in the forthcoming campaign.
8. Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar was signed by Punjab Kings (PBKS) for INR 5.25 crore after Punjab Kings (PBKS) observed Rahul Chahar’s methodical bowling for Mumbai Indians (MI) in previous IPL seasons. He made an appearance wearing a PBKS jersey and once more displayed his magic with his wicket-taking and effective bowling. He demonstrated his bowling prowess in 13 games, taking 14 wickets at an economy rate of 7.71.
With these figures, he also passed as Punjab’s second-leading wicket-taker in the competition. The team will be counting on him to put up higher numbers and assist the team win its first championship in the upcoming season. He had superb ball control in the recent few domestic matches he played.
He finished as his team’s second-leading wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022–23 with eight wickets in seven games and an economy rate of 7.23. He played in five Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022–23 matches and was outstanding with the bowling, picking up nine wickets at an exceptional economy rate of 4.34.
9. Harpreet Brar
With an outstanding bowling effort against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2021, Harpreet Brar made a striking bowling impression for Punjab Kings (PBKS) (RCB). The youngster defeated three RCB batters, including AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, and Virat Kohli. He also won Player of the Match for the bowling performance that won the match.
He gained the faith of the Punjab Kings by giving this noteworthy performance (PBKS). He was auctioned for a whopping INR 3.80 crore at the major auction in 2022. In the previous league season, the left-arm spinner played in five games and claimed four wickets with an economy of 9.12. The 27-year-old was retained by the organisation in November of last year, earning him a position on the 2023 squad.
He will be in charge of working with Rahul Chahar to strengthen the team’s spin attack this season. It might be inferred from the Punjab bowler’s recent performances in local competitions that he is preparing to establish his IPL franchise through his exceptional bowling potential.
10. Arshdeep Singh
2023 was a fantastic year for Arshdeep Singh as he made his ODI and T20I debuts for India. The pacer also had the opportunity to compete in a few high-profile competitions, including the Asia Cup and ICC T20 World Cup in 2022. He took advantage of the possibilities and created fantastic bowling stats.
Prior to the mega auction last year, he and Mayank Agarwal were retained by the Punjab Kings (PBKS) for his basic price of INR 4 crore. He grabbed 10 wickets in 14 games for a 7.70 economy rate in return. One can argue that the young gun could’ve performed better given his aptitude and talent.
He will play for PBKS for the fifth season this year after being signed by the team in November 2022. He will try to strangle the opposition with his lethal swing bowling to make the supporters of the organization happy. Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, and Rahul Chahar will assist him in bolstering the team’s bowling assault.
11. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada was purchased by Punjab Kings (PBKS) for a staggering INR 9.25 crore in the 2022 mega auction. Leading his new team’s bowling attack, he produced above-average bowling performances, taking 23 wickets in 13 games at an 8.45 economy rate. With his outstanding statistics, he easily secured a spot on the franchise’s retention list.
He had trouble in the T20 World Cup 2022, pursuing the ball for just two batters in five games with an economy of 9.43. He can’t be discounted from becoming a significant bowler in any competition, however, when considering his reputation and talent. His assistance will be essential for PBKS to have a successful season in the cash-rich league this year.
In 63 games, the 27-year-old has trapped 99 batsmen for a league-high economy of 8.63, giving him a stellar bowling record. PBKS will rely on him to spearhead their bowling attack with Arshdeep Singh, Sam Curran, and Rahul Chahar as they go through these enormous statistics.