The second game of IPL 2023 will be played between two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders, and perennial underachievers Punjab Kings in Mohali on Saturday. This will be the first double header of the day.
Punjab were unable to make it to the playoffs last year after winning just seven of their 14 matches. The last time the team reached the playoffs was four years ago. In fact, the only final they have ever played was in 2014. This year, they have invested heavily in England all-rounder Sam Curran, who was the Player of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup 2022. Punjab’s overseas slot looks quite strong with the likes of Curran, Kagiso Rabada and Liam Livingstone.
Kolkata, meanwhile, will be led by new skipper Nitish Rana, after their regular skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out for the majority of the season with an injury. They are also without Lockie Ferguson for the first few games. The team has a few match-winning overseas players in their ranks, but their Indian core doesn’t look quite strong. On paper, Kolkata once again look heavily reliant upon their two MVPs – Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. A lot of their campaign will depend upon the performance of these two players.
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PBKS vs KKR Predicted XI
Punjab Kings Predicted XI
Shikhar Dhawan ( C ), Prabsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Rahul Chahar
Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI
Venkatesh Iyer, N Jagadeesan, Nitish Rana ( C ), Mandeep Singh, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Chakravarthy, Vaibhav Arora
Punjab Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders Match Details
Match: Punjab Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Date & Time: April 1, 3:30 PM
Venue: IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Live Streaming: Star Sports Network and Jio Cinema app
Punjab vs Kolkata Fantasy Team
Wicketkeeper: B Rajapaksa, N Jagadeesan
Batters: J Sharma, S Dhawan, N Rana, V Iyer
All-rounders: S Narine, A Russell, M Short (VC), S Curran (C)
Bowlers: Bowlers: A Singh
PBKS vs KKR: Mohali Weather and Pitch Report
The pitch at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali is likely to produce a high-scoring game. The average first innings score in T20 matches played at the venue is over 170. Spinners have fared considerably better than the pace bowlers on this ground. Anything over 180 will be a competitive total to chase.
The weather, meanwhile, will be hot and dry during the game. The temperature is likely to be in the range of 28 to 30 degree Celsius. No rain has been forecast.
PBKS vs KKR Match Prediction
Both KKR and PBKS appear to be weaker compared to the other squads this season. But between them, PBKS look a tad bit stronger. KKR will be without their key batsman Shreyas Iyer and also without Lockie Ferguson, which could make matters worse for them. They also have a new coach and captain duo, who may take time to tick the right boxes. For this game, we predict the Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings as the winners.