IPL 2023: SWOT Analysis of Punjab Kings (PBKS)

Punjab Kings will start their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 1 in Mohali.

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Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The Indian Premier League season 16 is all set to get underway in a few days as the ten teams prepare themselves for another riveting season of arguably the grandest T20 league in the world. Over the years, IPL has seen several teams which have had immense talent in their squad but have failed to deliver on the field and hence a title victory has eluded them.

One such team is Punjab Kings, who despite having several stars in their squad have failed to convert talent into notable performances. They reinforced their squad at the mini-auction held in December 2022 and bought the services of all-rounders Sam Curran and Sikandar Raza.

Punjab have been finishing on the sixth position in the points table since 2019 and they last made it to the playoffs in 2014. With the 2023 season almost here, the 2014 runner-ups will be eager to finally up their game and enter the playoffs after nine years. As Punjab prepare themselves to put up a strong performance in the upcoming edition, let’s do a complete SWOT analysis of the team.

SWOT analysis of Punjab Kings for IPL 2023:

Strengths – Big names in both batting and bowling department

Sam Curran. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Punjab have several big names in their batting arsenal namely captain Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Matthew Short, Sikandar Raza and Sam Curran. In their seam bowling department, they will have the trio of Kagiso Rabada, Curran and Arshdeep Singh coming at the opposition one by one. 

Curran was awarded Player of the Tournament in the T20 World Cup 2022 and was hence bought for a whopping INR 18.50 crore by the franchise, making him the most expensive player in the history of IPL. Rabada can unsettle the batters with his lethal pace with the new ball while Arshdeep has made a name for himself with his top-notch death bowling. 

In the spin department, Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar provide enough variety to keep the batters guessing in the middle order.

 Weakness – Lack of experience in the batting and spin department

Liam Livingstone. (Photo by Will Russell CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Apart from Shikhar Dhawan, Punjab don’t have any other experienced campaigner in the batting department. Liam Livingstone, Matthew Short and Sam Curran are young talents while Sikandar Raza will be playing his first-ever IPL season. 

A lot will rely on captain Dhawan to hold one end and play an anchor innings while the other batters express themselves from the other end. However, if he gets dismissed early, the pressure will be upon the inexperienced batters to bail their team out of trouble.

The spin department will also rely heavily on Rahul Chahar with Harpreet Brar being an inexperienced campaigner.

Opportunities – Dhawan’s chance to take Punjab out of their misery

Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Dhawan has vast experience of playing 206 matches in the tournament. The southpaw is also the second-highest run scorer in the history of the tournament with 6244 runs to his name at an average of 35.08 and a strike rate of 126.35. 

Having been dropped from the Indian ODI team due to his poor form in 2022, the 37-year-old has a great chance to lead Punjab out of their misery and make a strong statement by taking them to the playoffs. The opening batter has been performing exceptionally over the past few years as he has scored over 400 runs in every edition since 2016.

Punjab have roped in Matthew Short as a replacement for Jonny Bairstow who failed to recover from his injury. The Australian star was the Player of the Tournament in the recent Big Bash League and can be an X factor for Punjab in the upcoming season.

Threats- Liam Livingstone’s recovery, Sam Curran’s recent form and Shahrukh’s low returns

Liam Livingstone and Shahrukh Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Liam Livingstone has not played a game since December 1 2022 due to a knee injury. The England star is recovering ahead of the tournament and might take one or two games to get into a rhythm. He will play a key role for Punjab with his outstanding hitting ability and handy spin bowling.

The Punjab Kings management went all out to buy Sam Curran in the mini-auction and spent a whopping INR 18.5 crore to get him onboard. However, the 24-year-old wasn’t in the best of form in recent SA20 playing for MI Capetown as he managed to score just 74 runs in nine innings. He further picked 8 wickets but leaked runs at an economy of 8.85. Having spent a major chunk of their purse to get Curran back in Punjab, the team will rely heavily on the all-rounder to perform with both bat and ball.

The 27-year-old Shahrukh Khan was bought for a whopping INR 9 crore at the mega auction in 2022. But the Tamil Nadu batter is yet to prove his worth in the IPL. He has so far amassed 270 runs in 19 matches at an average of 16.71. Heading into the season, Punjab will be desperate for some runs coming off his bat.

Punjab Kings IPL Squad 2023:

Punjab Kings 2023 IPL Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Matthew Short, Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shahrukh Khan, Sikandar Raza, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Baltej Singh, Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Bhatia, Vidwath Kaverappa, Shivam Singh, Mohit Rathee.

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