Punjab Kings have assembled a balanced squad with a good mix of experienced and young players in their bid to clinch the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) title in the upcoming 2023 season.
Having missed the IPL playoffs by a whisker last season, the Kings have shown their clear intent by roping in World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss as the new head coach and also appointed IPL’s second-highest run-getter Shikhar Dhawan as the new captain.
Ahead of the IPL 2023 mini auction, the franchise retained a total of 16 players including 11 Indians and five overseas players.
Captain Shikhar Dhawan, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Rishi Dhawan, Jitesh Sharma, Raj Bawa, Prabhsimran Singh, Atharva Taide and Baltej Singh were among the 11 Indian players retained by the franchise.
Among the overseas contingent, England’s swashbuckling cricketers Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, Sri Lankan batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Australian fast bowler Nathan Ellis will once again play a pivotal role for the Kings in IPL 2023.
In the mini auction held in Kochi, the Trevor Bayliss-coached outfit strengthened their lower-middle order by signing England all-rounder Sam Curran for a whopping INR 18.5 crore and also acquired Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza for his base price of INR 50 lakh.
As far as domestic cricketers are concerned, the franchise bought batters Harpreet Bhatia (INR 40 lakh), Shivam Singh (INR 20 lakh), all-rounder Mohit Rathee (INR 20 lakh) and young fast bowler Vidwath Kaverappa (INR 20 lakh) to bolster their bench strength.
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan and his opening partner Jonny Bairstow will look to continue their impressive partnership at the top of the batting order in IPL 2023.
The likes of wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma, explosive batter Shahrukh Khan, all-rounders Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Rishi Dhawan will hold the key in the middle-order.
Fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh will once again lead the Kings bowling attack in the upcoming IPL. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar and left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar will also play an important role for the side on the spin-friendly pitches.
The Shikhar Dhawan-led Kings will be desperate to end their long wait to clinch their maiden IPL title in 2023.
Punjab Kings (PBKS) squad for IPL 2023
Batters: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Harpreet Bhatia, Jitesh Sharma (wicket-keeper), Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Prabhsimran Singh (wicket-keeper), Shahrukh Khan, Shivam Singh
All-rounders: Mohit Rathee, Raj Angad Bawa, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone
Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Vidwath Kaverappa