Another season, another chance for Punjab Kings (PBKS) to win their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title. Over the years, PBKS have been the most underachieved team in the IPL. The closest they came to winning the IPL was in 2014 when they reached the finals but were defeated by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
This year, without KL Rahul, will be another test for the team. The right-handed batsman, who used to score 600 runs per season, will be missed. At IPL 2022 auctions, PBKS did manage to get quality players onboard and will be hoping that they get a successful season under the new captain, Mayank Agarwal. Let’s have a look at the three crucial players for PBKS in the IPL 2022:
1. Shikhar Dhawan
The opener is KL Rahul’s like-for-like replacement. PBKS management will be looking for a similar performance from the southpaw, which can be a huge task. Dhawan is a free-will batsman who can easily put up 500-plus runs in a season, but the pressure may be too much for him. To assume that Dhawan will immediately replace KL Rahul is a bit risky, but knowing Dhawan, he will play in his own style.
Another advantage he will have is the track that he will be getting in Mumbai. Dhawan enjoys batting on a flat track and will be looking for another big season. Gabbar has scored 5783 runs at a strike rate of 126.63 throughout his career. These numbers are enough to scare any opponent.
2. Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal will have an additional responsibility this season. Although, fans are aware that the Karnataka player can handle this. In the 2021 edition, the 31-year-old was in top form. Agarwal scored 441 runs in 12 innings, with an excellent average of 40.09 along with a strike rate of over 140.
Agarwal has totalled 2135 runs in the tournament, scoring them at an average of 23.46. He also has a century to his name along with a career strike rate of 135.73.
3. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada will have a huge part to play this season for PBKS. Rabada previously won the Purple Cap in the IPL 2020 season, taking 30 wickets. Punjab bought the South African bowler for INR 9.25 crore. In the process, this was a true muscle move to their bowling attack. Furthermore, as Rabada is not named in the Test squad for the series against Bangladesh, Punjab will have him from the start.
PBKS will kick off their IPL 2022 campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on March 27 at the DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai. Punjab is in Group B with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), RCB, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), and Gujarat Titans (GT). This season, PBKS appears to be much stronger after ticking all the boxes