After a winning start to the Tata Indian Premier League 2022, the Punjab Kings will look to build on the momentum and carry forward their winning ways, starting from the coming game. The Kings will now take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their next game.
The Punjab Kings take on the runners-up of last year’s IPL at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Friday, April 1, at 7.30 PM IST.
Ahead of the important encounter, below are a few noteworthy points to keep in mind.
Rabada available for the big game
South African pacer Kagiso Rabada joined the Punjab Kings bio-bubble late, having been on national duty against Bangladesh and was unavailable for the first game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. With his quarantine served and a handful of practice sessions with the squad done, the fiery pacer is ready to feature in the playing XI for the match against Bangladesh.
KKR in Tata IPL 2022 so far
The Kolkata Knight Riders have played two games already with contrasting fortunes. The team made a winning start, beating CSK, their foes from the final of IPL 2021 by six wickets. Playing RCB in their second game, KKR struggled while batting then made a fist of it with their bowling but ultimately conceded a three-wicket defeat just two days before their scheduled clash with PBKS.
The Sunil Narine-Bhanuka Rajapaksa battle
Sunil Narine is the most celebrated bowler for the Kolkata Knight Riders against PBKS, with 31 scalps so far. While Narine and Bhanuka Rajapaksa have not met before, the latter is an exceptional player of spin. The Sri Lankan’s comfort with spinners was evident when he took on Wanindu Hasaranga in the first game against RCB with ease in his breezy knock of 43 (22). It will be interesting to see who emerges victorious in this battle - the notorious spinner or the batter who can read spin well.
The Wankhede pitch
The Wankhede pitch has enough on offer for both spinners and seamers. While the humidity and proximity to the sea offer opportunities the swing bowlers can take advantage of, sometimes, after consecutive days of use, the pitch can become a vicious turner, providing the spinners an edge. However, it is the new ball that is known to do wonders here and Punjab’s top order will be wary of Umesh Yadav. The easily accessible boundaries make it a batter’s favourite, with the average first innings score in T20s being 194 and the average second innings score being 182.
The teams had met in the 2014 IPL final in a high-octane clash, with PBKS scoring 199 and KKR chasing it down with only 3 balls remaining. Given the pitch, the hunger for big games for the teams, and their history, things are poised for a high-scoring encounter.