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Toss Winner - Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and chose to bowl first
Punjab Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders (D/L method)
Nitish Rana to lead KKR against Punjab Kings in their season opener
Our prediction is for KKR to win this match
Tournament: Indian Premier League 2023 | Format: T20 | Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, India | Toss: To BowlBet Now
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Punjab Kings are back to Mohali to play their opening match of the 2023 IPL season against KKR. Last year, KKR emerged victorious in the only head-to-head encounter between these two sides in Mumbai.
This year, IPL will be played across 12 different venues that include Lucknow and Guwahati as well. This is the first of 5 home games Punjab Kings will play in Mohali. Mayank Agarwal who led the side last year is now in the SRH camp. Shikhar Dhawan is the new PBKS captain.
KKR were dealt with a major blow earlier with Shreyas Iyer’s injury. Nitish Rana is the new captain for the two-time IPL winners. The likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, and Rinku Singh will be crucial in a run-chase for the Knight Riders.
Punjab will also be looking forward to some big performances from Livingstone, Raza, and Shahrukh Khan. Curran is also a handy batter in the lower order while Khan was consistent in the last few seasons in the lower middle order.
Punjab Kings have a batting powerhouse with some big-hitting T20 players from around the world. They finished at number 6 last season with just 7 wins from 14 matches.
One more win and the Kings would have been through to the playoffs. Kings will be eager to turn things around this year under Dhawan's captaincy.
Jonny Bairstow’s absence will leave a big vacancy in the PBKS batting lineup this season. Matthew Short is an impressive opening batsman who’s delivered some fine knocks for Adelaide Strikers.
However, he will likely fall short of filling in Baristow’s shoes in this lineup. The Mohali pitch is good for batting and that’s where Short can get going and find rhythm.
Other pitches in India could pose a challenge to the Australian batsman. Bhanuka Rajapaksa hasn’t been in great touch lately. He was impressive in his early outings for the Kings but on the international stage, he failed to live up to the expectations.
Shikhar Dhawan and Livingstone will have the major scoring responsibility in this lineup. The batting-friendly pitch would allow Rajapaksa, Shahrukh Khan, and Sam Curran to play their natural game and add quick runs to the total.
Rabada will continue to lead the bowling attack for Punjab Kings along with Arshdeep Singh. Rahul Chahar is a key wicket-taker in the PBKS squad to watch out for.
Shikhar Dhawan (c), Matthew Short, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Harpreet Brar, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sikandar Raza, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Prabhsimran Singh, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Jitesh Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul Chahar, Sam Curran
Shreyas Iyer’s injury has led to a change in captaincy in the KKR camp. Previously, when Iyer was the DC captain, an injury paved the way for Rishabh Pant to become the DC captain.
And from there on, Iyer struggled to get back in the side and was finally let go. Nitish Rana has a great opportunity to showcase his leadership skills as he will be leading the team until Iyer is fit to play.
KKR has a great overall squad with a fine balance in every department. There are some young and talented players like Venkatesh Iyer, Rana, and Rinku Singh who need to lead KKR with their batting effort.
Rinku Singh showed his big-hitting abilities last season and will likely get a place in the XI for this match. Shakib Al Hasan has found his way back to KKR after missing the last season.
This time around, Hasan has brought along his Bangladeshi teammate, Liton Das, who’s an attacking opening batsman. The wicket-keeper’s department has completely changed from last season as KKR have let go of Billings, Indrajith, and Sheldon Jackson.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz and N Jagadeesan along with Liton Das offer some great options for the wicket-keeper batsman in the side.
David Wiese has replaced Mohammad Nabi as the bowling all-rounder and this change is a crucial one. KKR have added more variety to their bowling attack and also brought in Shardul Thakur this year.
Mandeep Singh, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Shakib Al Hasan, N Jagadeesan (wk), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, David Wiese, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav
Anukul Roy, Varun Chakravarthy, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, Mandeep Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Rahmanullah Gurbaz
The pitch used to be a paradise for fast bowlers till the ‘90s. It has slowed down since then and has become much more favourable for batting. Scattered thunderstorms are expected on the match day in Mohali with a high of 23 degrees Celsius.
Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium is the venue for this match. It is the home ground for Punjab Kings and the average 1st innings score here in domestic T20s is 166 runs. In the 6 T20Is played here, the average 1st innings score was 183 runs with the team batting second winning four of these games.
Teams batting second on this ground have won 32 of the 56 domestic T20 matches. In IPL even scores of 180 have been chased at this venue. Both teams have some big-impact players in their teams with KKR having some experienced finishers in their setup. Both skippers would be keen on bowling first if they win the toss.
Though it is a home game for Punjab Kings, we don’t reckon any clear advantage for the team. Going by the squad strength, KKR look much better on paper. They’ve got experienced players in every department who’ve been part of the KKR camp for quite a long time. The batting lineup is deep and there’s variety in the bowling attack. Punjab Kings are missing one of their best batters while others aren’t in their best form currently. Overall, KKR seem to have an edge over the hosts in this contest and will start as favourites in our match prediction
Our prediction is for KKR to win this match
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