The story of Punjab Kings remains the same year after year. A team with immense talent in every edition perishes under pressure in the latter half of the tournament. Having made several expensive purchases in the IPL auction in February, the revamped Kings XI Punjab, with a new name Punjab Kings will march into IPL 2021 in a quest to win their first title.
They had a see-saw sort of campaign last year when they came too close to breaching into the top four but finally had to settle at the 6th spot on the points table. How will they fare this season? Let us discuss further.
The Punjab Kings Team
Heading into the auction, the PBKS team had the biggest purse among all others i.e. INR 53.2 Crores. Out of this sum, they spent massively on beefing their pace attack by acquiring BBL stars Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson for INR 8 Cr and INR 14 Cr, respectively. Also, they fetch in the services of World’s #1 T20I batsman Dawid Malan, surprisingly for his base price of INR 1.50 Cr. Malan’s inclusion is definitely a prize buy for the Kings.
Among the Indian contingent, they signed Tamil Nadu’s sensational batting star Shahrukh Khan for a hefty sum. They strengthened their Indian contingent by roping in talents like Saurabh Kumar, Jalaj Saxena, and Utkarsh Singh. Below is the list of nine players the Punjab Kings bought in the auction.
- Dawid Malan (England) – ₹ 1.5 Cr
- Jhye Richardson (Australia) – ₹14 Cr
- Shahrukh Khan – ₹5.24 Cr
- Riley Meredith (Australia) – ₹8 Cr
- Moises Henriques (Australia) – ₹4.20 Cr
- Jalaj Saxena – ₹20 Lakh
- Saurabh Kumar – ₹20 lakh
- Fabian Allen (West Indies) – ₹20 lakh
- Utkarsh Singh – ₹20 lakh
The PBKS team has made nine purchases in the mini-auction, the most by any team.- This includes five overseas and four Indian players.
Players To Watch Out
Once again, a lot will depend on how the prolific skipper KL Rahul marshalls his troops. Like 2020, the PBKS team has got some impactful players in their lineup, but the execution of plans is something they need to work on. Their batting will heavily rely on the top order comprising KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, and Nicholas Pooran.
The Universe Boss Chris Gayle won’t be featuring in each and every game, but they have got Dawid Malan in the squad, who would be an apt replacement for the big Jamaican. The likes of Mandeep Singh, Shahrukh Khan, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, and Deepak Hooda are capable of batting in the middle-order. Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi will be the leading names in the spin-department, and with the inclusion of Jalaj Saxena, they have bolstered their spin department for sure. Talking about pace, they have some of the formidable names in their lineup like Chris Jordan, Mohammad Shami, Jhye Richardson, whereas, Riley Meredith and Arshdeep Singh will be the other options in this facet who will try to deliver whenever they get a go.
Punjab Kings Scheduled Matches For IPL 2021
Like every other team, the Punjab Kings would be playing their games in neutral venues. PBKS team will play five games in Bengaluru, four in Ahmedabad, three in Mumbai, and two in Chennai. Below is their full schedule,
Match 1: Punjab Kings VS Rajasthan Royals, April 12, Mumbai, 7:30 PM
Match 2: Chennai Super Kings VS Punjab Kings, April 16, Mumbai, 7:30 PM
Match 3: Punjab Kings VS Kolkata Delhi Capitals, April 18, Mumbai, 7:30 PM
Match 4: Sunrisers Hyderabad VS Punjab Kings, April 21, Chennai, 3:30 PM
Match 5: Mumbai Indians VS Punjab Kings, April 23, Chennai, 7:30 PM
Match 6: Punjab Kings VS Kolkata Knight Riders, April 26, Ahmedabad 7:30 PM
Match 7: Royal Challengers VS Punjab Kings, April 30, Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM
Match 8: Delhi Capitals VS Punjab Kings, May 2, Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM
Match 9: Punjab Kings VS Royal Challengers Bangalore, May 6, Ahmedabad, 7:30 PM
Match 10: Punjab Kings VS Chennai Super Kings, May 9, Bangalore, 3:30 PM
Match 11: Punjab Kings VS Mumbai Indians, Bangalore, May 13, 3:30 PM
Match 12: Kolkata Knight Riders VS Punjab Kings, May 15, Bangalore, 7:30 PM
Match 13: Punjab Kings VS Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 19, Bangalore, 3:30 PM
Match 14: Punjab Kings VS Rajasthan Royals, May 22, Bangalore, 7:30 PM
Punjab Kings (PBKS) Expected Playing Eleven For The First Game Against Mumbai Indians (MI)
- KL Rahul (C)
- Mayank Agarwal
- Chris Gayle/Dawid Malan
- Nicholas Pooran
- Shahrukh Khan
- Deepak Hooda
- Murugan Ashwin/Jalaj Saxena
- Mohammad Shami
- Chris Jordan
- Jhye Richardson
- Ravi Bishnoi
Complete Punjab Kings Team Squad For IPL 2021
Here is the PBKS squad for IPL 2021,
KL Rahul (C), Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hood, Darshan Nalkande, Jhye Richardson, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Shahrukh Khan, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammad Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Nicholas Poorana, Dawid Malan, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Saurabh Kumar, Fabian Allen, Moises Henriques, Riley Meredith
Time to wrap up: 2014 was the last time when the Punjab Kings made it all the way to the finals. Since then, they haven’t finished among the top four in any of the editions. With a change in name and logo this season, they would be hoping to repeat the magic that transpired in 2014 and claim their hands on the coveted title at least once. Will they be able to implement all their strategies adequately? Well, we have to be patient to get this answer.