2nd Match (D/N), Mohali, April 01, 2023, Indian Premier League
(16/16 ov, T:154) 146/7

Punjab Kings won by 7 runs (DLS method)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
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Punjab Kings and KKR clash under new leadership

Punjab and KKR finished sixth and seventh last season - they have new captains to try and make the playoffs this year

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah

Big picture: New captains, new coaches

Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders begin IPL 2023 with some similarities. After a disappointing previous season, they both have a new captain and coach combination this year - Shikhar Dhawan and Trevor Bayliss for Punjab, and Nitish Rana and Chandrakant Pandit for KKR - though Kolkata's leadership change was forced upon them because of Shreyas Iyer's injury.
Their squads are also missing key personnel. Punjab are without Jonny Bairstow for the entire season, and will not have Liam Livingstone and Kagiso Rabada for their first game. KKR are without Shakib Al Hasan and Litton Das, who are on national duty.
Punjab have not made the playoffs since 2014, but like last year they start with promise, having bought Sam Curran with a record-breaking bid at the auction. KKR, on the other hand, had to put together their squad with the smallest purse, after spending a lot of money on pre-auction trades to bring in Shardul Thakur and Lockie Ferguson.

Team news: Livingstone, Shakib unavailable

Having released Mayank Agarwal, Punjab's new opener is likely to be one of Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa or Australia's Matthew Short, along with Dhawan.
Australian quick Nathan Ellis could take the overseas fast bowler's spot in Kagiso Rabada's absence, while Curran and Arshdeep Singh are likely to form a formidable death-overs combination. With Livingstone missing, Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza could fill the all-rounder's spot.
KKR could open with either Afghanistan's Rahmanullah Gurbaz or N Jagadeesan - the freshly-minted record holder for the highest List-A score - and either of them can double up as a wicketkeeper too.
Lockie Ferguson has recovered from a hamstring injury and could start ahead of Tim Southee as the overseas seamer, while Venkatesh Iyer's solid run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy should secure his place. Whether Varun Chakravarthy has recovered enough fitness and form to find a place remains to be seen, and he will compete with Suyash Sharma, a teenage mystery spinner, for a place.

Toss and Impact Player strategy

Punjab Kings

Possible bat-first XI: 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Prabhsimran Singh, 3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 4 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 5 Sikandar Raza, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Rishi Dhawan, 9 Harpreet Brar, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Arshdeep Singh.
If Punjab bat first, they could pick only three overseas players - Rajapaksa, Raza and Curran - and bring in Ellis as the Impact Player for Rajapaksa in the second innings. If they end up needing an extra batter in the first innings, they could bring in Raj Bawa for someone who's already dismissed and still have six bowling options.
Possible bowl-first XI: 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Prabhsimran Singh, 3 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 4 Sikandar Raza, 5 Shahrukh Khan, 6 Sam Curran, 7 Rishi Dhawan, 8 Harpreet Brar, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Nathan Ellis, 11 Arshdeep Singh.
If Punjab bowl first, bringing in Rajapaksa as the Impact Player at No. 3 for Ellis or Chahar is a straight swap that strengthens their batting while chasing.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Possible bat-first XI: 1 N Jagadeesan, 2 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 3 Venkatesh Iyer, 4 Nitish Rana (capt), 5 Rinku Singh, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Sunil Narine, 8 Shardul Thakur 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Varun Chakravarthy/ Suyash Sharma.
Full of allrounders, KKR bat until No. 8, so they could look to bring in an extra bowler in the second innings.
Possible bowl-first XI: 1 N Jagadeesan (wk), 2 Venkatesh Iyer, 3 Nitish Rana (capt), 4 Rinku Singh, 5 Mandeep Singh, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Shardul Thakur, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Varun Chakravarthy/Suyash Sharma.
If KKR name only three overseas players if they bowl first, they could bring in either Rahmanullah Gurbaz or David Wiese as the Impact Player in the second innings. They could consider bringing in Wiese in the first innings as well, if they want an extra bowling option.

Stats that matter

  • Shikhar Dhawan has not scored a fifty in 11 appearances as captain in the IPL, even though he is one of the most consistent batters in the tournament. He is the only batter to score 450+ runs in seven consecutive seasons.
  • Prabhsimran Singh was the third highest run-scorer in the most recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - 320 runs with a strike-rate of 142 and average of 53.30. Jitesh Sharma has the third-highest T20 strike-rate among Indians (148), behind only Suryakumar Yadav (149) and Prithvi Shaw (152).
  • KKR will be aching for some solid starts after trying six different combinations last season. In IPL 2022, their openers had the lowest average (15.8), far behind the second-worst team Gujarat Titans, who averaged 26.40 for the first wicket.
  • Andre Russell (178) and Sunil Narine (163) are the two batters with the highest strike-rate in IPL history (min. 1000 runs). Russell's ball-per-six ratio of 6.5 in the IPL is significantly better than second-placed Nicholas Pooran (9.3).
  • Pitch and conditions

    Mohali will host an IPL game for the first time since 2019. It has traditionally been a pace-friendly surface due to the bounce on offer. Rain is expected overnight and also on Saturday afternoon.


    "One of things that we thought was lacking last year was not able to finish off innings with the bat. That was one of the reasons why we decided to go after a young all-rounder like Sam. He gives us a strength in the middle-order and he is a world-class bowler as well."
    Trevor Bayliss on Sam Curran
    "I don't follow anyone's captaincy style, I just want to captain in my manner. I know that if I follow someone, then I will lose my touch. So I want to lead this side the only way I know."Nitish Rana, the new KKR captain

    Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

    Win Probability
    PBKS 86.8%
    100%50%100%PBKS InningsKKR Innings

    Over 16 • KKR 146/7

    Venkatesh Iyer c Chahar b Arshdeep Singh 34 (28b 3x4 1x6 66m) SR: 121.42
    Punjab Kings won by 7 runs (DLS method)
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