IPL 2021: Strongest playing XI of Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) will play their first match on April 12 against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
During the previous edition, the Rahul-led side didn't have a good time as they lost a plethora of games from their hand. As a result, they failed to qualify for the playoffs and ended up at the 6th position on the points table.
Punjab will be looking to clinch the title this time as they have some swash bucking players which they have missed during the last season. So, let's see the strongest playing xi of Punjab Kings ahead of the IPL 2021.
The Karnataka batsman KL Rahul will continue to open the innings for Punjab Kings in the upcoming edition of the tournament. He was at his best in the last season and won the Orange Cap for scoring the most runs in the league.
The right-hander amassed 670 runs from 14 games that he played at an average of well above 55 including a hundred to his name. Still, his side failed to get into the playoffs due to a lack of contribution from others.
Mayank Agarwal would open the innings along with his skipper KL Rahul in IPL 2021. The latter did his job well in the last season and scored 424 runs at an average of 38.54 which is the highest after Rahul and also smashed a hundred for his side.
Mayank Agarwal is expected to play a crucial role for Punjab Kings ahead of the IPL 2021 to clinch the trophy for the first time.
The NO.1 T20 batsman, Dawid Malan was bought by Punjab Kings for a price of INR 1.5 crores in the IPL Auction 2021. Like his skipper, Malan has the ability to bat at any position which the team needs.
Moreover, he can bat regarding the situation of the game. This is the first IPL for Malan who would be looking to live up to the expectations of the team and the fans.
The Trinidadian cricketer was bought by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2019 for a sum of INR 4.5 crores. After that, he showcased his ability with the bat and cemented his place in the squad.
During the IPL 2020, the left-hander had aggregated 353 runs at an average of 35.30 with a staggering strike-rate of almost near to 170s. With Pooran in the middle, any big score would look like a cake for KL Rahul and his men.
The latest entrant to the team Shahrukh Khan is expected to don the jersey in the upcoming season of the cash-rich contest.
The Chennai born was bought by Punjab Kings after having a bidding war with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and scalped him for a big price of INR 5.25 Crores. Fans are eager to watch the performance of the 25-year-old in the 14th edition of the league.
Another new member, Deepak Hooda was also bought by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2020. Deepak Hooda was once a regular name in Sunriers Hyderabad as they trusted the handy all-rounder who can contribute with both the bat and the ball.
He represented Punjab Kings in 7 games and scored 101 runs with a healthy strike-rate of well above 140s. KL Rahul must be expecting his service in the lower order for his side.
The Australian all-rounder came to the spotlight after his fabulous performance in the recently concluded Big Bash League. Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore started bidding for him as Punjab Kings roped youngster for a whopping price of INR 14 Crores.
The 24-year-old has enough experience in his pocket to play according to the situation of the game. He has played 67 T20s and scored 264 runs with the bat and plucked 82 wickets with the ball.
Chris Jordan is the only England player in the Punjab Kings. He represented the Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore before being bought by the franchise in IPL 2020. He picked up 9 wickets in that season but leaked a lot of runs in the slog overs.
However, Jordan is a talented bowler who can vary his pace by bowling cutters and slower balls to dismiss the batsman. In addition to that, the English all-rounder can fetch the wickets for KL Rahul if he hits length perfectly.
The right-arm leggie was bought during the IPL 2020 for a sum of INR 2 Crores. Ravi Bishnoi came to the spotlight when he bagged 17 wickets from just six games in the Under-19 World Cup for India.
In the 13th edition of the league, the 20-year-old represented most of the games for Punjab Kings and scalped 12 wickets to his name with an economy rate of just above 7.
Mohammed Shami will be the lead bowler for Punjab Kings who has delivered the ball whenever the team needed him. Moreover, he is the go-to-man for KL Rahul to get the breakthrough at any moment of the game.
He was the highest wicket-taker for his side during IPL 2020 as he plucked 20 wickets to his bag. It will be interesting to see the pacer getting more wickets in the upcoming season.
Another player from Tamil Nadu, Murugan Ashwin is expected to lead the spin department along with the youngster Ravi Bishnoi and the part-time bowler Deepak Hooda. He joined with the side in IPL 2019 and failed to deliver his best with the ball.
However, the latter made a good comeback in the next season by picking up 10 wickets from 9 games and maintained the economy rate well below 8.
Arshdeep Singh will be another pacer who is going to bowl along with Mohammed Shami, Jhye Richardson and Chris Jordan. He also joined the franchise in IPL 2019 and played few games during the league.
In the last season, the latter got some handful of opportunities and picked up 9 wickets from 8 games. This time, the 22-year-old has to hit the right areas to get attached to the team.