Just two more sleeps now before Punjab Kings fans can see their team take to the field to face Rajasthan Royals with the resumption of the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League almost upon us. KL Rahul, Anil Kumble and the team management though would still have plenty to ponder on the possible combinations and match-ups that they would like to use for their first game against the 2008 champions. 

With three new players joining in the roster in Adil Rashid, Nathan Ellis and Aiden Markram, there would be plenty to discuss to try and fit the ideal XI for that all important game on Tuesday.  A stellar squad of 25 to choose from, here’s a look at the possibilities that lie ahead. 

Top pe Tashan

Over the past couple of seasons, the openers have been the strongest suit for the Punjab Kings, with skipper KL Rahul being their leading run getter for three years running. Partnering up with him the franchise has plenty of options, as they can either go with Rahul’s state teammate Mayank Agarwal or the ever explosive Chris Gayle. Prabhsimran Singh too remains a leftfield option to open the batting just to an attacking option right at the top. 

Following them up, seasoned Internationals like Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram could be given a run in. Alongside them, experienced Indian domestic stars like Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda, Sarfaraz Khan and Shahrukh Khan are all capable of packing a punch when called upon. In the top order, Punjab Kings have plenty of options who can be match winners in their own right. 

Middle da Riddle 

Fabian Allen and Moises Henriques remain two formidable options for the Punjab Kings for their middle-order. Both offer some explosive hitting towards the end and can chip in with the ball as well, serving their purpose perfectly. The team management could also look towards domestic talents like Jalaj Saxena, Harpreet Brar and Utkarsh Singh- all of whom will enjoy the spin friendly tracks of UAE. 

The middle-order has been a problem area for Punjab Kings in the past, but this time around with plenty of options to choose from, the team management would almost be spoilt for choice for the remainder of the IPL games. 

Spin da King

Leg spin remains the forte of the Punjab Kings this year. Along with the most successful leg spinner in India’s history as their coach, the team has U19 World Cup star Ravi Bishnoi and experienced IPL campaigner Murugan Ashwin. For the remaining games, the team also have the services of England’s star spinner Adil Rashid at their disposal, giving them plenty of options. 

Apart from that, the team also has Saurabh Kumar if they ever want a left-arm option in the remaining matches of the 2021 IPL.

‘Seam’ de la crème

Mohammed Shami remains the talismanic for Punjab Kings in the fast bowling department, and will most likely find an International bowler to share the responsibilities with the new ball, with Chris Jordan and Nathan Ellis the available options to choose from for the team management. Both those bowlers have earned a reputation for themselves as death overs specialists, and would have a pivotal role to play in the remaining matches. 

Punjab Kings will be without Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith for the UAE leg, but that opens the door for a few fringe players like Darshan Nalkande and Ishan Porel to burst through the net. Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh also would be in the plans for the team management given his good performances during the India leg of the competition. 





KL Rahul (c & wk)

KL Rahul (c)

KL Rahul (c & wk)

Mayank Agarwal

Prabhsimran Singh (wk)

Mayank Agarwal

Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle

Aiden Markram

Nicholas Pooran

Aiden Markram

Deepak Hooda

Mandeep Singh

Moises Henriques

Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan

Utkarsh Singh

Sarfaraz Khan

Harpreet Brar

Jalaj Saxena

Fabian Allen

Adil Rashid

Ravi Bishnoi

Saurabh Kumar

Chris Jordan

Nathan Ellis

Murugan Ashwin

Mohammed Shami

Arshdeep Singh

Nathan Ellis

Darshan Nalkande

Ishan Porel

Mohammed Shami

NOTE: The aforementioned line-ups are an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.

Over to you: What does your playing XI look like? Let us know in the comments below.