Wholesale changes are done and new-look Punjab Kings is ready to build for the tournament this year. Shrugging off the old baggage ahead of the auction, Punjab Kings went big at the auction and bought big players who could be a part of the playing XI for the franchise. Despite a good show by the PBKS openers – KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal – PBKS could not make it to the playoff. This year – with a fairly new team in place – Punjab Kings would be the side to watch out for.Also Read - IPL 2022: KL Rahul Explains Why Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) Picked Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi Ahead of Auction
PBKS will not tinker at the top given the camaraderie Mayank and Rahul share, but yes, veteran Chris Gayle is likely to be a part of the XI from the start this season – which was not the case last time. Gayle will in all likelihood play at no 3. Swashbuckling Nicolas Pooran – who is a T20 specialist could follow Gayle at no 4. Dawid Malan would in all probability be slotted in after Pooran. Also Read - Not KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma; Shane Warne Admits His First Choice as India's Test Captain Would Have Been Ajinkya Rahane
There could be a toss-up between Mandeep Singh and Sharukh Khan for the No 6 position. Both are talented uncapped Indian cricketers. Also Read - Not Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul; Ex-Pakistan Pacer Shoaib Akhtar Suggests Jasprit Bumrah as India's Next Test Captain
Next in the queue would be Indian all-rounder Deepak Hooda. Hooda is experienced and can hit a long ball; he would be used as a finisher along with pint-sized dynamo – Sarfaraz Khan. The ex-U19 skipper is a smart cricketer who can play a 360 game. The two Indians could play the role of the finisher and with Rahul wicketkeeping, it gives a good balance to the side.
Murugan Ashwin could be in the 11 as the only specialist spinner. The two pacers in the side could be Jhye Richardson and Mohammad Shami.
PBKS Predicted Playing 11: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicolas Pooran, Dawid Malan, Mandeep Singh/Shahrukh Khan, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Shami, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin
PBKS Full Squad: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Dawid Malan, Jhye, Shahrukh Khan, Richardson, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj, Saxena, Saurabh, Kumar, Fabian Allen, Utkarsh Singh