The eighth match of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will witness Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) cross swords on Wednesday, April 5 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. Punjab Kings are heading into the contest in good form, having secured a win in their first game against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Check here 👉 Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings, Match 8 – Live Cricket Score
With Kagiso Rabada and Liam Livingstone back in the mix, the Punjab franchise would be more formidable in the upcoming encounter. However, Punjab would need to be at their best in the clash against an in-form Rajasthan side. As Shikhar Dhawan & Co. look to trump Royals, let us look at the playing XI they can come up with.
Openers: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prabhsimran Singh
Shikhar Dhawan has been a proven performer in the Indian Premier League. He has put up an exhibition of his glorious stroke play and piled on runs for fun. The southpaw has featured in 207 IPL games and accumulated 6284 runs at a strike rate of 126.41.
In the previous game against KKR, the Indian batter displayed his class and notched up 40 runs in 29 deliveries. Also, Dhawan was spot-on with his tactics on the field and marshalled the troops beautifully. The veteran batter would look to play in the vein in the forthcoming game.
Coming to Dhawan’s opening partner Prabhsimran Singh, the 22-year-old is an up-and-coming talent from Punjab’s cricketing circles. He smashed 23 runs off 12 deliveries against Kolkata and provided his side with a crackling start. The team management would hope the youngster carries on the good work going forward.
Middle Order: Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shahrukh Khan
Bhanuka Rajapaksa has been a bankable name in the T20 circuit. He has featured in 154 matches in the shortest format and racked up 2919 runs at a strike rate of 135.83. The 31-year-old was magnificent with the bat in Punjab’s IPL 2023 opener and hammered 50 runs off 32 balls.
Barring Rajapaksa, Punjab have Jitesh Sharma and Shahrukh Khan at their disposal. Jitesh is known to play a fearless brand of cricket and can take the attack to the opposition right from the get-go. He would look to bring his A-game into play in the upcoming game.
Talking about Shahrukh, the Tamil Nadu-born has been a destroyer with the bat and stamped his authority in the domestic arena time and time again. He would be eager to set the ongoing edition of the cash-rich league on fire with his performances.
All-rounders: Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran
Liam Livingstone is one of those players who have made heads turn every time he has stepped onto the cricket field. He has decimated bowlers with his power-hitting might and turned the course of the game in a matter of few deliveries. Also, the 29-year-old is a wily customer with the ball and has chipped in with crucial wickets.
Livingstone was phenomenal with the bat in the 15th edition of the lucrative T20 tournament and plundered 437 runs in 14 matches for Punjab Kings at a stunning strike rate of 182.08. Further, he took six scalps in those outings. The ace all-rounder would look to replicate his last season’s form in IPL 2023.
Besides Livingstone, PBKS will have Sam Curran in their ranks. Curran can act as a floater in the middle order and provide vital contributions with the bat. On the bowling front, he has troubled batters with his swing in the powerplay and has also been impeccable at the death, stemming the flow of runs.
Bowlers: Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh
Punjab Kings will have the services of Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar in their spin-bowling stocks. Brar is known to strangle batters with his consistent lines and lengths and chipped in with crucial wickets. Talking about Chahar, the Indian spinner has spun the web around the opposition and has been impactful in the middle phases of the innings. The spin twins would look to put their best foot forward in the upcoming encounter.
Talking about Punjab’s fast-bowling arsenal, they would have Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh in their ranks. Rabada has rattled batters with his fiery pace and wreaked havoc with the ball. He was brilliant in IPL 2022 and bagged 23 wickets in 13 matches. The Proteas pacer would look to put up a show with the ball in the ongoing edition of the T20 extravaganza.
Coming to Arshdeep, he has been a consistent performer in the IPL arena and took 43 wickets in 38 games. The Indian pacer displayed his bowling credentials in the clash against Knight Riders and picked up three wickets. He would look to weave his magic in the clash on Wednesday and stake a claim to win the Purple Cap of the season.
Punjab Kings (PBKS) probable XI:
Shikhar Dhawan(c), Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh
Punjab Kings probable impact players:
Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Rishi Dhawan, Baltej Singh, Atharva Taide, Vidhwath Kaverappa