Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)
Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)

Mayank Agarwal has been a vital part of Punjab Kings since 2018 and the opener will be seen leading the franchise in IPL 2022 after being named the skipper last month.

A part of the Indian Test team, opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was among the two players retained by Punjab Kings alongside young pacer Arshdeep Singh. The team may have parted ways with former skipper and Mayank Agarwal’s long-time pal KL Rahul, but the 2014 IPL finalists roped in experienced names like Shikhar Dhawan and Kagiso Rabada during the recent IPL 2022 mega auction.

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mayank Agarwal Effusive In Praise For Shikhar Dhawan Who Is Expected To Open Alongside Punjab Kings Skipper

A proven performer in the lucrative T20 league, Shikhar Dhawan, 36, comes with plenty of experience under his belt. The latest recruit is expected to open alongside Mayank Agarwal, forming one of the most lethal partnerships this year in the IPL. Though Mayank Agarwal was tight-lipped on the opening combination, he was effusive in praise for Shikhar Dhawan as he underlined the left-handed batter’s ability and unmatched energy.

“I can’t talk about the batting order as of now but I can definitely say that we are excited to have Shikhar on board. He is an absolute livewire, a great entertainer, a massive performer and a lot of the guys will feed off his energy. He is also in a great mind space,” Agarwal said.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Punjab Kings bought the southpaw Shikhar Dhawan, the 1st name at IPL 2022 auctions, for a whopping Rs 8.25 crore before adding Kagiso Rabada to their line-up for a massive Rs 9.25 crore. Incidentally, both played for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021.

Shikhar Dhawan was the 2nd highest run-scorer in IPL 2020 (618 runs) and became the only batsman to hit 2 back-to-back tons in IPL history. He scored 587 runs in IPL 2021. Kagiso Rabada, who picked 15 scalps in IPL 2021, picked 30 scalps in IPL 2020 and was Purple Cap holder for being the leading wicket-taker.

Mayank Agarwal Want To Excel As A Batsman And Wants To Take Punjab Kings Forward As Skipper In IPL 2022

Mayank Agarwal crossed the 400-plus mark in the 2020 and 2021 seasons and is expected to play a key role in Punjab’s chase for the elusive IPL title. The newly appointed captain also spoke about the added responsibility and said he’s focusing on batting the way he’s doing without adding any new elements.

“When I am batting I am just a batsman. We have a lot of leaders and experience in the team and that makes it easier for me. I want to excel as a batsman and do the things I have been doing. (On the captaincy front) we have made our plans to take the team forward,” he said.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Image Credit: Twitter)

Punjab also shelled out a whopping 11.5 crore for England all-rounder Liam Livingstone and splurged 9 crore on power-hitter Shahrukh Khan. The franchise also snapped up Kagiso Rabada and Jonny Bairstow for 9.25 crore and 6.75 crore respectively. They start their campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 27 at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Mumbai.

Mayank Agarwal had captained the team briefly last year when KL Rahul was injured. Mayank Agarwal aggregated 400-plus runs in the past two seasons. He had made his IPL debut in 2011 and has so far played 100 games. The 31-year-old has also played 21 Tests and five ODIs for India.

Mayank Agarwal smashed an unbeaten 99 runs in 58 balls on his captaincy debut but Punjab Kings lost that game in IPL 2021 against Delhi Capitals. He has played 47 games for Punjab Kings so far and amassed 1317 runs averaging 29.27 with 1 ton and 8 fifties.

Purchased players: Shikhar Dhawan ( 8.25 crores), Kagiso Rabada ( 9.25 crores), Jonny Bairstow ( 6.75 crores), Rahul Chahar ( 5.25 crores), Harpreet Brar ( 3.8 crores), Shahrukh Khan ( 9 crores), Prabhsimran Singh ( 60 lakh), Jitesh Sharma ( 20 lakh), Ishan Porel ( 3.8 crores), Liam Livingstone ( 11.5 crores), Odean Smith ( 6 crores), Sandeep Sharma ( 90 lakh), Raj Angad Bawa ( 2 crores), Rishi Dhawan ( 55 Lakh), Prerak Mankad (20 Lakh ), Vaibhav Arora ( 2 Crores), Writtick Chatterjee ( 20 Lakh), Baltej Dhanda ( 20 Lakh), Ansh Patel ( 20 Lakh), Nathan Ellis ( 75 Lakh), Atharva Taide ( 20 Lakh), Bhanuka Rajapaksa ( 50 Lakh), Benny Howell ( 40 Lakh)

Probable XI: Mayank Agarwal (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Rishi Dhawan, Odean Smith, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar & Arshdeep Singh.