Punjab Kings hope to go on the offensive in the midst of a new beginning.

The IPL is about to return, and fans are excited to see their local teams play in normal conditions outside the bubble. This means the Punjab Kings are returning to Mohali!

The IPL is about to return, and fans are excited to see their local teams play in normal conditions outside the bubble. This means the Punjab Kings are returning to Mohali!

The Punjab Kings enter the 2023 season with some optimism. The Kings have failed to realise their full potential as a team over the years. They haven’t gotten their hands on any silverware.

The Kings are one of four teams that have yet to win the coveted IPL trophy: Lucknow Super Giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, and Delhi Capitals. The chase for silverware begins on April 1st, when they host the Kolkata Knight Riders in Mohali.

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Since finishing second in 2014, they have failed to qualify for the playoffs. Every season, the management spends money on players, but the team fails to click on the field, and the season ends in disappointment.

Shikhar Dhawan, along with seasoned campaigners Sam Curran and Jonny Bairstow, would look to lead his troops to the top of the table. We preview the Punjab Kings squad ahead of the 2023 IPL season in this article.

A look at Last Season’s performance 

At the end of last season, the Punjab Kings finished sixth in the points table. They had seven victories and as many losses to show for their efforts. The Kings were predicted to finish in the top four at one point during the season, but their inability to function as a unit led to their finish.

Throughout the previous season, they were inconsistent and never won consecutive games. Jitesh Sharma was the best player for the Punjab Kings, but Arshdeep Singh also impressed fans and selectors.

New Signings

The transfer of English superstar Sam Curran was the most talked-about at the auction table. The Kings went all-out to bring the All-Rounder home, paying a whopping Rs. 18.5 crores to secure his services.

Sikandar Raza, the first Zimbabwean to play in the IPL, will wear the red jersey of the Punjab Kings in the 2023 season. They paid Rs. 50 lacs for him.

Harpreet Singh Bhatia, a 31-year-old left-handed batsman, was acquired for Rs. 40 lacs after competing with Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Kings also signed some uncapped Indian players, including Vidwath Kaverappa, Mohit Rathe, and Shivam Singh, for a base fee of Rs. 20 lacs.

Predicted Playing XI

Prabhsimran Singh, Shikhar Dhawan ©, Johnny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar.

Strengths

Foreign Core: The Kings’ foreign core is their biggest strength this season. Matchwinners include Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, and Kagiso Rabada. They can demolish the opposition with their skills and talent on their day.

Pace-Bowling Unit: Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, and Sam Curran’s firepower can give any top-order in the world fits. Rabada can now bowl his overs in the powerplay thanks to the inclusion of the English all-rounder.

In the death overs, Arshdeep and Curran can pose a threat. They also have backups in the form of Nathan Ellis and Raj Bawa, who can be called on at any time.

Explosive middle-order: In recent seasons, the Kings have struggled to wreck havoc in death-overs, resulting in low totals that frequently come back to haunt the Mohali-based franchise.

The Kings have Livingstone, Rajapaksa, Shahrukh Khan, Rishi Dhawan, Curran, and Jitesh Sharma in their lineup this season. They are all explosive batters who play a thrilling brand of aggressive cricket.

Weaknesses

Spin-bowling options: One of the Punjab Kings’ weaknesses is a lack of depth and talent in their spin-bowling department. The Kings lack an established Indian spinner aside from Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar.

On pitches like Chepauk, the lack of quality Indian backups could be a concern. Although Livingstone could provide you with a few overs per match, he is not a tried and true option in Indian conditions.

Lack of depth in the middle order: One of the most pressing concerns for Bayliss and his staff may be the need to adjust the middle order. A quick glance at the squad reveals the absence of an experienced batsman at number three.

Bairstow was seen in an unusual position in the batting order. Prabhsimran Singh and Dhawan could start, with Bairstow at one-down. It could raise concerns if this gamble does not pay off for the team.

Over-reliance on English Players: One of the Punjab Kings’ weaknesses could be their over-reliance on English players. This side’s X-Factor is the trio of Bairstow, Livingstone, and Curran. If the ECB decides to recall its players from the IPL to rest them for the Ashes, the Kings could be caught off guard.

Absence of quality Indian batters: The Punjab Kings may suffer from a lack of depth in their batting lineup. They have been unable to replace players such as Mayank Agarwal.

Domestic circuit veterans include Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, and Shahrukh Khan. As a backup, the management should have obtained Ajinkya Rahane’s signature.

Season Prediction

The Kings’ previous seasons have all been disappointing, and this season appears to be no exception. The Kings may struggle in the event of an injury due to a lack of depth in certain areas. The squad is overly reliant on foreigners to get them out of dangerous situations. The presence of an Indian core is essential for any team hoping to win the championship.

If Livingstone, Curran, and Rabada play to their strengths, the team could advance to the knockout rounds. The fans are hoping for a fairytale comeback when the team returns to Mohali.

Also Read: Who is the Godfather or Baap of IPL And Why? (sportsdigest.in)

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