Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) surprised everyone ahead of the Auction when they were unable to retain IPL’s current most valuable player, KL Rahul. Unfortunately, they couldn’t strike a deal with KL Rahul as the latter wanted to move away from the franchise. Along with KL Rahul, Punjab Kings also failed to retain Ravi Bishnoi as both these players were retained by Lucknow Super Giants.

Letting go of these two, Punjab Kings did manage to retain another star opener, Mayank Agarwal for INR 12 Cr alongside their star death overs bowler, Arshdeep Singh for INR 4 Cr. Going into the auction, they had the highest purse, and unlike the last few Auctions, Punjab Kings did a commendable job at the Auction having acquired a lot of firepowers.

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From the starting 11 perspectives, Punjab Kings have got all their bases covered. With Mayank Agarwal at the helm as announced by the franchise recently, PBKS acquired the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Shahrukh Khan, Jonny Bairstow, and many more star players.

So, with the kind of squad PBKS have assembled, let’s look at the best predicted playing 11 for Punjab Kings for IPL 2022? Before that, let’s also look at the complete squad of PBKS. Also, please note, the playing 11 is selected keeping 4-5 batters, minimum 2 all-rounders, 1 wicket-keeper, and minimum 3 pacers in mind. 

IPL 2022 Final Squad for Punjab Kings (PBKS):

Batters: Bhanuka Rjpaksa, Mayank Agarwal, Prerak Mankad, Shahrukh Khan, Shikhar Dhawan, Jitesh Sharma (WK), Jonny Bairstow (WK) & Prabsimran Singh (WK)

All-rounders: Ansh Patel, Atharva Taide, Benny Howell, Harpreet Brar, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Vaibhav Arora & Writtick Chatterjee

Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Dhanda, Ishan Porel, Kagiso Rabada, Nathan Ellis, Sandeep Sharma & Rahul Chahar

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Openers: Mayank Agarwal (C) & Shikhar Dhawan

Having lost KL Rahul to Lucknow Super Giants, Mayank Agarwal has now got a new opening partner in the form of Shikhar Dhawan. Just like KL Rahul, the southpaw has also been a star performer in IPL in the last two years having scored in access of 1000 runs. Even as age is not so kind on Shikhar Dhawan, his form has still been amazing, to say the least.

Overall, Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal will make up for a dynamic opening pair. Both are aggressive and consistent. If they manage to maintain their form as they have in the last couple of years, the right-hand and left-hand aggressive combination can work wonders for the team. In addition, expect Mayank Agarwal to take more responsibility having been named the captain of the squad. 

Middle-order: Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone & Shahrukh Khan

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While Punjab Kings have a fantastic opening combination, their middle-order is equally strong. Jonny Bairstow, who usually plays one down in ODIs will have to play a similar role for PBKS. Another naturally aggressive player that he is, Jonny Bairstow will add a lot of firepower to the team. He has also been excellent in IPL over the last few years while playing for SRH.

Number 4 and number 5 would see another attacking duo of Liam Livingstone and Shahrukh Khan. Livingstone is in the form of his life currently as seen in different T20 tournaments and while playing for England. Being the most expensive buy, in IPL 2022, Liam Livingstone would want to live on to the expectations and deliver for his team. 

Meanwhile, Shahrukh Khan would be having mixed emotions coming back to the same side that didn’t give him enough opportunities in IPL 2021. In the live Auction, it felt as if PBKS were only looking to raise the price for CSK, but after an intense bid, CSK chickened out, and Shahrukh was eventually purchased by PBKS by INR 9 Cr. Nevertheless, there’s huge potential with SRK, and with consistent opportunities, he can be a valuable finisher for the team. 

Finisher All-rounders: Rishi Dhawan, Odean Smith & Harpreet Brar

Coming to the all-rounders, PBKS once again have plenty of options. In addition to Odean Smith and Harpreet Brar, PBKS will mostly look to play Rishi Dhawan to get more depth in the batting. Rishi Dhawan is currently in the form of his life. He can contribute valuable runs down the order. Also, being a powerplay bowler, he can easily give those important 2-3 overs.  

Meanwhile, Odean Smith and Harpreet Brar form a formidable number 7 and number 8 for the side. While Smith is a hard-hitting batter as seen him playing for the West Indies, Harpreet Brar can play valuable counter-attacking knocks as and when needed. Smith is also a good death Overs bowler, and Harpreet Brar gives a good spin-bowling option. 

Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar & Arshdeep Singh

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Coming to bowling, PBKS has limited but potent options available with them. Kagiso Rabada would lead the bowling attack for them with good support from the swing of Rishi Dhawan and the guile of Arshdeep Singh. While Rishi Dhawan can be a pure powerplay bowler, Arshdeep can be more valuable in the death Overs. In addition to the above pacers, PBKS also has the pace of Odean Smith.

From a spin bowling perspective, Rahul Chahar shall lead the spin bowling duties for the side. Chahar has had brilliant 2 years with Mumbai Indians. But having been out of contention of the Indian team, Chahar would be looking to make inroads via effective bowling. Meanwhile, Harpreet Brar’s slow left-arm spin shall play an effective role for PBKS on spin-friendly pitches.  

Strongest Predicted Playing 11 for Punjab Kings for IPL 2022:

Mayank Agarwal (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Rishi Dhawan, Odean Smith, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar & Arshdeep Singh.

So, that completes the best predicted playing 11 for Punjab Kings for IPL 2022. Overall, this should be the starting playing 11 for PBKS unless they decide to play Sandeep Sharma for Rishi Dhawan. Meanwhile, barring the above-mentioned best playing 11, Punjab Kings can also look at the following combinations. 

Other Playing 11 Options for Punjab Kings:

  • Sandeep Sharma for Rishi Dhawan to add more firepower in the bowling
  • Raj Bawa for Rishi Dhawan for giving fresh blood priority over experience 
  • Ishan Porel or Sandeep Sharma for Harpreet Brar for pace-friendly pitches

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