The Punjab Kings caused quite a stir at the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 Auction earlier this year, retaining only Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh, while buying back Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Nathan Ellis and Ishan Porel.

Ahead of the season, they built a team with eight all-rounders, seven batters including three wicket keeping options, and nine bowling options. Head here for the squad or solve the playing XI puzzle, and tell us who makes your cut. Meanwhile, here is a look at how the team is shaping up for the upcoming season.

The new captain - Mayank Agarwal

Agarwal, who was appointed the captain of the team ahead of the season, will be itching to take over the responsibilities that were conferred on him by the Head Coach, Anil Kumble.

Kumble spoke about this decision, saying, “Mayank has been with the team for four years now, I have worked with him for the last two and have known him for longer. He has all the attributes (needed to be a captain). He was a part of the leadership group for the last couple of years. He’s done the hard yards as an individual, and is a great team man, we’ve seen that.”

After being officially welcomed by the squad post his promotion, Agarwal said, “We want all the guys to be match ready, as quickly as possible. We mean business, it is going to be hardcore training, we are looking to play real hard and tough cricket.”

The new format

The Indian Premier League has donned a new format this season, with the ten teams being divided into two groups and four venues set to host the entire league stage - Wankhede Stadium, DY Patil Stadium, Brabourne Stadium and Gahunje’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Ground.

Of these, the Punjab Kings will play four games each at DY Patil Stadium and Wankhede Stadium, and three each at Brabourne and MCA. For a detailed breakdown of the venues, head here.

As for the group games, PBKS is a part of Group B, with Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans. They will play these four opponents and Delhi Capitals, who are on the same level as PBKS in Group A, twice each. The other four teams in Group A will be encountered only once in the group stage.

What to look forward to

With a renewed vigour and a balanced team, the Punjab Kings will look to have a fresh approach for strategic planning of the game, on and off the field, with the coveted Tata IPL 2022 trophy in their sight.

The team has always encouraged first-time captains and given young players a chance. Thus, we can also see some debuts from the bunch of young options the team has to offer. Additionally, they will have the backing of experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow to lend the team balance.

The Punjab Kings will begin their TATA IPL 2022 campaign with a Sunday night clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore.