The Punjab Kings are all set to kickstart their Tata Indian Premier League 2022 campaign with a clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai. The team will start off with a Sunday night extravaganza.
With a new composition overall, the team will have exciting things to look forward to when they face Faf du Plessis and Co. from Bengaluru. Mayank Agarwal will also want to make his full time captaincy debut memorable with a victory.
Ahead of the big game, below are a few talking points to look at.
A chunk of our Kings make their PBKS debut
With a majorly rejigged squad, a big chunk of the Kings are set to make their debut in PBKS colours. From batters like Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone and Shikhar Dhawan to bowlers like Rahul Chahar and Odean Smith, fans will see these players in Punjab Kings’ match jerseys for the first time.
Jonny Bairstow, Kagiso Rabada and Nathan Ellis to miss first game
Punjab Kings will miss out on the services of English cricketer Jonny Bairstow, who is currently on national duty on a tour of the West Indies. He is playing the third and final Test for England, and will join the team after that assignment.
Meanwhile South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who is most likely to lead the pace attack when available, will miss out on the first game having entered the IPL bubble late. He is currently undergoing the mandatory quarantine, having joined the team after the ODIs against Bangladesh.
Nathan Ellis, who is with the Australian team, will join PBKS after the completion of his national team’s tour to Pakistan. The tour has three ODIs and one T20I to go.
Sandeep Sharma on the brink of a century
Pacer Sandeep Sharma is just one match away from playing 100 Indian Premier League games. It is a landmark only a select bunch of players have crossed, and it is an honour that Sharma will touch this milestone in PBKS colours, the team he made his debut with.
A clash of new captains
Both Mayank Agarwal and Faf du Plessis are captaining their respective teams for the first time. While Agarwal has stood-in as captain for PBKS once, du Plessis is appearing in RCB colours for the first time, taking over captaincy responsibilities from Virat Kohli, who had led the team since 2013.
The Sandeep Sharma-Virat Kohli battle
Sandeep Sharma seems to have a liking for Virat Kohli, having claimed his wicket on seven occasions in the Indian Premier League history. In the 55 deliveries bowled by Sharma to Kohli, the latter has only scored 73 runs. A battle between the two is sure to spark some fire on the field on Sunday.
DY Patil Stadium pitch and factors of importance
The DY Patil Stadium offers good bounce, opening opportunities for the pacers early on to force a mistimed hit from the batters. Conversely, if the power-hitters expect the bounce, they can take full advantage of the same to smack away some boundaries that are further away than usual in this stadium. Additionally, in the evening games dew will play a massive factor.
Tune in at 7.30 PM to see Punjab Kings take the field for the first time in the Tata Indian Premier League 2022!