The second match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 will be played between Punjab Kings (PBKS) and two-time IPL winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) tomorrow i.e. April 1 at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
Punjab Kings had a disappointing season last year, finishing sixth in the points table. The team won seven games and also lost the same number of games. For the 2023 season, the Punjab-based side has appointed a new captain in Shikhar Dhawan and will be hoping for a much better season. The problem for PBKS is that the majority of their foreign players are away on national duty. Liam Livingstone will miss the first match due to a lack of NOC clearance, while Kagiso Rabada is away on national duty. Much will be riding on skipper Dhawan’s explosive start. Nonetheless, the team will try their best to find the right combination in the hopes to turn the tables in their favour in IPL 2023.
In the meantime, the Knight Riders have taken a significant hit before the upcoming IPL season. The Kolkata-based team’s captain Shreyas Iyer is expected to miss the majority of the season. The sudden shoulder injury to Iyer has left KKR scrambling to adjust their batting order. Nitish Rana‘s unexpected promotion to captain shows that the group is counting on the southpaw to perform. The Delhi batsman had a few IPL seasons that were promising, but he lacked consistency. Nevertheless, Rana will intend on taking the initiative and aiding KKR in capturing their third championship. The absence of leading death-over bowlers is another concern for KKR. With the exception of Lockie Ferguson, no one can be relied upon to bowl the final over. On a positive note, KKR have a considerable deal of experience within their ranks and thus will plan to make a strong first impression.
The competition between the two teams in head-to-head play favours KKR. The two franchises have played off 30 times; Kolkata has won 20 games while Punjab has won 10 of them.
TV: Star Sports Network