Kagiso Rabada

PBKS bowler Arshdeep Singh (Photo| ANI)
PBKS bowler Arshdeep Singh (Photo| ANI)
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Harbhajan Singh Praises Fearless Punjab Kings’ Pacer Arshdeep Singh

Harbhajan Singh, the former India spin wizard heaped praise on the Indian pacer Arshdeep Singh, and make a bold prediction on his future. IPL 2022 saw the emergence of multiple quality domestic players.

While pacer Umran Malik stood out for the Sunrisers Hyderabad for his incredible pace, the likes of batters Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Tilak Varma, and Abhishek Sharma also produced consistent performances for their respective franchises in the season. One such player who, on paper, didn’t take as many wickets but delivered in crunch moments for his side was Punjab Kings’ Arshdeep Singh.

Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)
Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)

Harbhajan Singh: Arshdeep Singh A Fearless Bowler Who Doesn’t Get Bogged Down During Pressure Situations

The left-arm pacer took 10 wickets in 13 matches and bowled at a decent economy rate of 7.82, but a more impressive aspect of his bowling was his ability to nail yorkers at will – especially in death overs. It impressed former India spinner Harbhajan Singh, who believes that Arshdeep Singh is not far away from an India call-up.

“The best thing about Arshdeep Singh is that he’s a fearless bowler. He’s got a lion’s heart. While many players get bogged down during pressure situations but he flourishes more often than not during tense moments,” said Harbhajan Singh.

Arshdeep Singh [photo: Twitter]
Arshdeep Singh [photo: Twitter]
The Chetan Sharma-led BCCI selection committee will meet today(22nd May) to pick two separate squads. One squad under Shikhar Dhawan will play against South Africa and Ireland while the other squad under Rohit Sharma will leave for England on June 15. All-rounder Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik are all set to end Indian team exile. While Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh & Rahul Tripathi are expected to get their maiden India call-up.

The squad for South Africa will also travel to Ireland for two-match T20Is. After that, some members of that squad including Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan will join the rest of the squad in England.

Harbhajan Singh Recalled Arshdeep Singh Giving Suggestions to Kagiso Rabada To Bowl Which Line

Harbhajan Singh also recalled a moment during one of the games in the IPL 2022 when Arshdeep Singh was seen having a conversation with Kagiso Rabada after the latter had conceded a couple of big hits during a close match.

“There is so much confidence in this bowler and the belief that he can do well during tense moments. The other day we saw him giving suggestions to a world-class bowler like Kagiso Rabada on which line to bowl to. This shows how involved he is in the game and doesn’t shy away from sharing his thoughts with the senior players. He bowls yorkers at will in the death overs. I believe a left-arm pacer of this caliber should get a chance to play for India sooner rather than later,” Harbhajan said.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Credits: Twitter)

Punjab Kings have been knocked out of the race for playoffs and will play in their final match of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, who are also eliminated from the playoff contention.

Though Arshdeep Singh (10 wickets) has been behind Umran Malik (21 wickets) in the wicket-taking list, the left-arm pacer has been phenomenal in the death overs with an economy rate of 7.31, the best among all bowlers in the the the tournament. Arshdeep Singh’s accuracy to bowl the ball of his choice has left Harbhajan Singh impressed apart from the youngster’s fearless attitude.

The youngster played 3 matches for PBKS in the 2019 season and was retained by the franchise ahead of the 2020 IPL auction. A year later, Arshdeep Singh continued his rise and went on to enjoy a fine run of form, taking his IPL wicket tally to 30 from 23 matches, leading PBKS to retain him ahead of the TATA IPL 2022 auction. The tall bowler is known to use his 6’3” frame to his advantage.

Jonny Bairstow (Punjab Kings)
Jonny Bairstow (Punjab Kings)
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Imran Tahir Wants Jonny Bairstow To Open For Punjab Kings In IPL 2022 To Maximize Powerplay

Imran Tahir, the former Purple Cap winner previewed Tuesday’s (May 3) all-important clash between the Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans. The 43-year-old spinner believes the Punjab Kings should open with Jonny Bairstow to cash in on the powerplay.

Punjab Kings have had an inconsistent top order thus far, with Shikhar Dhawan being the chief accumulator. Jonny Bairstow, who missed the first few games due to national duty, has batted at number three; however, he hasn’t had much success. The England batter has made only 79 runs at 13.17 in six matches while batting in the middle-order.

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: Twitter)

Imran Tahir Reckons Mayank Agarwal Is A Knock Away From Regaining Form And Wants Jonny Bairstow To Open To Maximize Powerplay

Imran Tahir feels Punjab Kings skipper and opener Mayank Agarwal must take some time, play positively, and is a knock away from regaining form. The former CSK spinner wants Jonny Bairstow to open the innings as his presence can help the Punjab Kings maximize the powerplay- the first 6 overs.

He said: “Mayank Agarwal is a consistent player, but we have seen several players struggling for runs this year. However, I think Mayank must back himself, take more time at the crease, and play positively so that he regains his form. I think he is one knock away from that and if he clicks in those crucial games, his form can come back.”

Jonny Bairstow. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Jonny Bairstow. (Image Credits: Twitter)

“I would like to see Jonny Bairstow open because he is dangerous during the powerplay. He played some good knocks in the Mzansi Super League in the powerplay and deserves to open the innings.”

The South African has urged the other batters to step up and support Shikhar Dhawan.

In this regard, Imran Tahir elaborated: “If we remove Shikhar Dhawan, no other batter has shown consistency. Hence, it is a concern for the Punjab Kings as they cannot rely on any other batter during challenging situations. Other batters need to step up and play positively. If not, Shikhar Dhawan has to take responsibility and play a big knock and carry the team’s fortunes.”

With 307 runs in nine innings, Shikhar Dhawan is the highest run-getter for the Punjab Kings so far. His team’s captain, Mayank Agarwal, has only managed 161 runs in eight games at 20.12, striking at 128.80.

Imran Tahir Feels Kagiso Rabada Hasn’t Taken Many Wickets To His Liking

Imran Tahir noted that opposition teams have prepared better for Kagiso Rabada due to which he hasn’t earned much success. However, Imran Tahir feels the speedster has an extra responsibility moving forward.

“Kagiso Rabada has proved numerous times that he is a match-winning bowler and is known for taking wickets. I feel he is bowling well, but he is not getting as many wickets as he would like. While Arshdeep is doing decently, Rabada has the responsibility and Punjab signed him so that he performs as he did in the past 2-3 seasons. I think every season is different and teams plan differently. Hence, they likely have plans against Rabada due to which he hasn’t been much successful. I still feel he is bowling well.”

Kagiso Rabada celebrating a wicket. (Credits: Twitter)
Kagiso Rabada celebrating a wicket. (Credits: Twitter)

Although Kagiso Rabada has 13 wickets in eight IPL 2022 games at 18.46, his economy rate of 8.27 is on the higher side. Punjab Kings will want him to deliver more impactful spells in their remaining games. The last time Gujarat Titans faced Punjab Kings, Rahul Tewatia hit back-to-back sixes with 12 needed off two balls to pull off a miraculous victory. Since then, such wins have become the Gujarat Titans’ signature.

PBKS will count on their senior batters, who have time and again failed to live up to their reputations. Shikhar Dhawan has performed in patches, while Jonny Bairstow has not been in the touch fans would have expected him to be.  On the bowling front, Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh have been superb. Rishi Dhawan is another interesting addition to the XI and has been making good contributions with both bat and the ball.

Shahrukh Khan can prove to be a good fit in place of Jitesh Verma, considering his reputation to finish the matches.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Reckons Delhi Capitals Will Find It Hard To Field 4 Overseas Players In The First Half Of IPL 2022

Aakash Chopra has said that the Delhi Capitals will be hard-pressed to field four quality overseas players in the first few games of IPL 2022.

The Delhi Capitals have only seven foreign players in their 24-member contingent for the upcoming season of the IPL. Moreover, the likes of Anrich Nortje, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh are unlikely to be available for the franchise at the start of the tournament.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Surprised At Delhi Capitals Picking Only 7 Overseas Players At IPL 2022 Mega Auctions

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out the Delhi Capitals’ predicament in fielding four overseas players in the first few games of IPL 2022.

He observed: “Surprise surprise, you have only seven overseas players. When you could have taken eight, why didn’t you? I didn’t understand this stinginess at all because you already had seven and if Nortje doesn’t come, it becomes six. Two or three of the six are not available, so what will you do for the first match? You don’t have players at all, you are down to absolutely nothing.”

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje (Image Credit: Twitter)

The cricketer-turned-commentator reckons the Delhi Capitals’ decision to retain Proteas pacer Anrich Nortje was probably an unwise move.

He reasoned: “You had retained four players, which also included Anrich Nortje. When you retained him, the talk was already going on about his hip surgery. He has not played cricket at all after that. That is the gamble that you took.”

Aakash Chopra added that Delhi Capitals had opted to retain Anrich Nortje ahead of his South African teammate Kagiso Rabada.

He elaborated: “You let Kagiso Rabada go; you thought you will get someone else, and Anrich Nortje will come. But Anrich Nortje in all likelihood is not going to come. He is not available as of now, has not played anything for South Africa for the last six months. So what will happen to Anrich Nortje; it’s a big question.”

Anrich Nortje has apparently joined Delhi Capitals’ squad in Mumbai. However, there is no clarity on if he will be able to take the field in IPL 2022.

Aakash Chopra Stressed Both Mitchell Marsh And David Warner May Not Be Available At Start Of IPL 2022

Aakash Chopra pointed out that David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, who are part of the Australian team touring Pakistan, will also miss the first few games. David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, the MOS of the 2021 T20I World Cup and MOM of the final, respectively, are expected to make up for the lack of firepower due to the loss of Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis.

He said: “You let Shikhar Dhawan go and got David Warner; I will say thumbs up with both hands. You let Marcus Stoinis go and got Mitchell Marsh, once again thumbs up with both hands. But Mitchell Marsh and David Warner are not available at the start. They are going to miss the first three matches.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While praising the acquisition of West Indies’ hard-hitting batter Rovman Powell, the 44-year-old highlighted that Mitchell Marsh’s bowling fitness is always a question mark.

Aakash Chopra observed: “Forget you and me, even Ricky Ponting doesn’t know properly about Mitchell Marsh’s bowling; he leaves after getting injured. You did a good job by picking Rovman Powell, as Shimron Hetmyer left.”

The Delhi Capitals, much like Mumbai Indians, were hit hard by the IPL 2022 mega auction. They had to release some of their tried-and-tested players, who were acquired by other teams in the draft or at the auction.

The bowling attack which wore an ominous look in IPL 2020/2021 with Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Avesh Khan had been disturbed. Bowlers Shardul Thakur, Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleel Ahmed, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav and Lungi Ngidi will assume leadership roles with their variations to complement Anrich Nortje and Axar Patel.

Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)
Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)
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He Is An Absolute Livewire: Mayank Agarwal Effusive In Praise For Shikhar Dhawan

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.

Dean Elgar ( Image Source: Twitter)
Dean Elgar ( Image Source: Twitter)
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Dean Elgar’s Decision To Bat First Paid Off But He Feared It Might Have Backfired; Proteas Clinch 2nd Test To Level Series 1-1 Against Kiwis

Dean Elgar, the Proteas skipper conceded after securing the Test win against New Zealand to level the two-match series 1-1 on Tuesday that he would have looked an “absolute idiot” had his decision to bat first on February 25 backfired and the Proteas lost the match.

South Africa bucked the trend at the Hagley Oval and elected to bat first, and thanks to a century from Sarel Erwee in the first innings they managed to post 364 and take a 71-run first-innings lead, which proved crucial in the end.

The Proteas then declared their second innings on 354 and bundled out the hosts for 227 to win by 198 runs and take revenge for their innings and 276-run humiliating defeat in the first Test at the same venue.

Sarel Erwee celebrates his century, Picture: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz/BackpagePix
Sarel Erwee celebrates his century, Picture: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz/BackpagePix

Dean Elgar’s Decision to Bat First Paid Off But He Feared It May Have Backfired

On February 25, Dean Elgar’s decision to bat first had surprised New Zealand as in the opening Test, the tourists could only manage 95 runs in the first innings, finally suffering an innings defeat.

“Luckily it paid off for us (the decision to bat first); it was something that might have backfired on us and I would have looked like an absolute idiot. But I’m one of those guys that is willing to live with the decisions I make for the side,” Dean Elgar was quoted as saying following the big win.

Dean Elgar was a pleased captain after South Africa defeated New Zealand by 198 runs in the second Test.

Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

“We’ve shown in the past that we’ve got a lot of characters within our unit and, ultimately, we needed characters to come out again and rise up and make a stand for us to try and level the series,” Dean Elgar said.

The Proteas’ decision to bat first on a seamer-friendly wicket wasn’t the only surprise of the second Test. They also played spinner Keshav Maharaj, who ultimately went on to grab four wickets in the Test, including a 3/75 in the second innings.

Kagiso Rabada:  It Was The Right Decision To Bat First And Play A Spinner

Pacer Kagiso Rabada, who snared 5/60 in the first innings and 3/46 in the second, said there was a marked difference between the wickets for the two Tests, although the matches were played at the same venue Hagley Oval.

On a pitch that had something in it for the quicks throughout the five days, Kagiso Rabada finished with eight wickets in the match, including his 11th career five-for and Marco Jansen with seven, while Keshav Maharaj, the only spinner playing across both XIs, took a decisive 3 for 75 in New Zealand’s second innings.

After taking a first-innings lead of 71, South Africa rode on wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne’s unbeaten 136 to pile up 354/9 (declared) in their second essay to set a target of 425 for the home team.

“This wicket in this Test match was a lot drier just looking at it with the naked eye, and it had a lot less grass on it. When you walked on it, the spikes almost sunk into it.”

“So, that tells you that it’s going to be a little bit slow and hopefully when the Test match moved forward the conditions would get drier and the footmarks would be created for Keshav (Maharaj) to exploit. That was the thinking and, in the end, it was the right decision (to bat first and play a spinner),” added Kagiso Rabada.

Kagiso Rabada's pace often has him the centre of attention AFP/Getty Images
Kagiso Rabada’s pace often has him the centre of attention AFP/Getty Images

“It was irritating that the rain had to come at that stage (final session, Day 5). I had an idea that the rain would just blow over, the clouds would blow over, but in the back of your head you’ve got that cynical thought that says ‘what if it stays?’.”

South Africa maintained their unbeaten series record over New Zealand, levelled the two-match series 1-1, and became the first team to win a match at the Hagley Oval after choosing to bat first. They set New Zealand a target of 426 and bowled them out for 227 to stage a remarkable comeback after losing the first match by an innings and 276 runs, their second-biggest defeat ever.

South Africa 364 (Erwee 108, Wagner 4-102, Henry 3-90) and 354 for 9 declared (Verreynne 136*, Rabada 47, Henry 2-81) beat New Zealand 293 (de Grandhomme 120*, Rabada 5-60, Jansen 4-98) and 227 (Conway 92, Rabada 3-46, Jansen 3-63) by 198 runs

Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS
Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS
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Punjab Kings Set To Appoint Mayank Agarwal As Skipper For IPL 2022

Punjab Kings is only one of the two franchises apart from Royal Challengers Bangalore who has not announced their captain’s name yet.

Punjab Kings, led by KL Rahul in the past couple of seasons, will be without the wicketkeeper batter as he parted ways with the franchise and has joined Lucknow Super Giants before IPL 2022 mega auctions.

Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Punjab Kings Set To Appoint Mayank Agarwal As Skipper

Mayank Agarwal, who was retained by the franchise ahead of the auction, is all set to become the next captain of Punjab Kings for the upcoming season. A formal announcement is expected soon.

“In all likelihood, Mayank will captain the side. The announcement is expected later this week,” an IPL source said.

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

Punjab Kings went into the IPL 2022 auction with the maximum purse and did smart business in the mega event as they acquired some talented players with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada, besides buying back left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar and explosive Tamil Nadu batter Shahrukh Khan.

Shikhar Dhawan was the first name to be called out in the IPL auction on Saturday and Punjab Kings spent 8.25 crore to secure his services. The left-handed India opener represented the Delhi Capitals between 2019-2021 and was also the skipper of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise during the 2013 and 2014 seasons of the tournament.

Shahrukh Khan, meanwhile, was acquired by Punjab Kings for 9 crores in the IPL 2022 mega auction. A bidding war for Shahrukh Khan took place between Chennai Super Kings, Punjab, and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Punjab Kings Was Keen On Appointing Mayank Agarwal As Captain Ever Since KL Rahul Parted Ways With Franchise

Shikhar Dhawan’s name as captain was also doing the rounds but the management was keen on Mayank Agarwal as the leader even before the auction.

“Dhawan is a welcome addition to the side and was always on the radar at the auction. He is a champion player but it seems Punjab were keen on Mayank as captain ever since KL Rahul left the team,” the source added.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul formed one of the most prolific opening pairs in the IPL over the past couple of years. KL Rahul will lead Lucknow Super Giants this season.

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 19 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 29.7 with 1 ton and 8 fifties.

With a strong squad at their disposal, Punjab Kings are aiming to end their title drought in the IPL. Their only final appearance came way back in 2014. They finished sixth out of eight teams in the last three editions.

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)

Punjab Kings Shahrukh Khan
Punjab Kings Shahrukh Khan
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Shahrukh Khan Backs Experienced Shikhar Dhawan To Lead Punjab Kings In IPL 2022

Punjab Kings covered all bases during the two-day mega auction ahead of the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League. The Punjab franchise roped in star players like Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, and Shahrukh Khan among others during the event in Bengaluru, completing the maximum limit of 25 players in the squad.

The side had retained Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh ahead of the auction, and with the addition of Shikhar Dhawan to the roster, speculations are rife over the team’s new captain ahead of the upcoming season.

Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shahrukh Khan Backs Experienced Shikhar Dhawan To Lead Punjab Kings In IPL 2022

Shahrukh Khan, who had represented the Punjab Kings in the 2021 edition and was brought back by the franchise in the auction, revealed his choice for the leadership role in the franchise. When asked to pick between Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan, the young all-rounder chose the latter.

“I would say Shikhar Dhawan, because he has so much experience. He has a different aura and he has a very dynamic personality,” Shahrukh Khan said in a mid-auction show on Star Sports.

Shikhar Dhawan (L); Mayank Agarwal(PTI/IPL)
Shikhar Dhawan (L); Mayank Agarwal(PTI/IPL)

Shikhar Dhawan was the first name to be called out in the IPL auction on Saturday and Punjab Kings spent 8.25 crore to secure his services. The left-handed India opener represented the Delhi Capitals between 2019-2021 and was also the skipper of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise during the 2013 and 2014 seasons of the tournament.

Shahrukh Khan, meanwhile, was acquired by Punjab Kings for 9 crore in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction. A bidding war for Shahrukh Khan took place between Chennai Super Kings, Punjab, and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Punjab Kings Coach Anil Kumble Satisfied With New Players Acquisitions

Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble was extremely satisfied with the new players, including Liam Livingstone and Odean Smith, coming to his franchise during the IPL 2022 auction, the dynamics of which were “very different and challenging”.

“There is absolutely more demand than supply, but I guess there were challenges because there were 10 teams and it was different,” Kumble said.

Anil Kumble Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA
Anil Kumble Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

“I have been in couple of big mega auctions in 2011, 2014 and smaller auctions before this auction. This one has been really, really different and more challenging because every player, that whoever is going for, is going for a large sum of money, so the purse is dwindling no matter what value you have in your purse.”

“The auction dynamics are very very different and you have to be nimble and that is something we realised in the last one and half days. You have to be even more nimble during this auction then the previous ones.”

While Punjab Kings retained opener, Mayank Agarwal, for Rs 12 crore, the Karnataka batter doesn’t have much leadership experience. Punjab Kings went all out to buy Shikhar Dhawan for Rs 8.25 crore, pipping the likes of Delhi Capitals during the IPL 2022 mega auction. Punjab Kings are on the hunt for a new captain since KL Rahul decided to shift base to Lucknow Super Giants.

Purchased players: Shikhar Dhawan ( 8.25 crore), Kagiso Rabada ( 9.25 crore), Jonny Bairstow ( 6.75 crore), Rahul Chahar ( 5.25 crore), Harpreet Brar ( 3.8 crore), Shahrukh Khan ( 9 crore), Prabhsimran Singh ( 60 lakh), Jitesh Sharma ( 20 lakh), Ishan Porel ( 3.8 crore), Liam Livingstone ( 11.5 crore), Odean Smith ( 6 crore), Sandeep Sharma ( 90 lakh), Raj Angad Bawa ( 2 crore), Rishi Dhawan ( 55 Lakh), Prerak Mankad (20 Lakh ), Vaibhav Arora ( 2 Crore), 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)

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2022 Auction: Delhi Capitals Went For Players Who Had Multiple Utility Skills: Saba Karim

Delhi Capitals’ evolution as a powerhouse over the last three seasons had depended on T20 specialists in their disciplines going on an all-out attack. With the mega auctions witnessing their core group of players going to other franchises with lucrative deals, the franchise has resorted to more experienced and utility players.

The bowling attack which wore an ominous look in IPL 2020/2021 with Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Avesh Khan had been disturbed. Bowlers Shardul Thakur, Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleel Ahmed, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav and Lungi Ngidi will assume leadership roles with their variations to complement Anrich Nortje and Axar Patel.

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje (Image Credit: Twitter)

Delhi Capitals Went For Players Who Had Multiple Utility Skills Ensuring Playing XI First And Then Picking Backups: Saba Karim

David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, the MOS of the 2021 T20I World Cup and MOM of the final, respectively, are expected to make up for the lack of firepower due to the loss of Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis. But the real challenge will be to stabilize the middle-order which will help leverage their skipper Rishabh Pant to play the high-impact role.

Saba Karim. – File photo of former wicketkeeper - The Hindu
Saba Karim. – File photo of former wicketkeeper – The Hindu

This is where the likes of KS Bharat, Mandeep Singh and Sarfaraz Khan are expected to play their roles.

“One must remember Bharat played at No. 3 for RCB last year and did a very good job. He is expected to play a similar role here if needed. He is not seen just as a backup wicketkeeper to Pant,” Saba Karim, Delhi Capital’s head of talent search, said moments after the auction on Sunday evening.

“We have gone for players who have multiple utility skills. Like most teams, we ensured our playing XI first and then went for backups. So, Bharat, Nagarkoti, Ngidi and Mandeep all form part of the plan,” Karim added.

Delhi Capitals were among the busiest franchises at the event as they went after several big names. After all, they operated with a star-studded squad in the last couple of seasons. Australia’s Mitchell Marsh, who has been in red hot form lately, went to DC for INR 6.5 crore. Meanwhile, the franchise’s most expensive buy at the event was Shardul Thakur. The Capitals had to splash a staggering INR 10.75 crore to acquire the all-rounder’s services.

It must be noted that Delhi Capitals retained the likes of Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw, and Anrich Nortje ahead of the auction and stepped into the bidding event with a purse of INR 47.5 crore. Speaking of fast bowlers, Delhi Capitals bought the likes of Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Khaleel Ahmed to assist Anrich Nortje.

As far as the spin department is concerned, Kuldeep Yadav will join forces with Axar Patel this season with Lalit Yadav and Praveen Dubey being the other options.

Saba Karim: Delhi Capitals To Groom The Future Talents By Acquiring Yash Dhull, Sarfaraz Khan And Vicky Ostwal Besides Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel And Pravin Dubey

The franchise has worked on a philosophy of grooming talent for years. The investments in Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and Avesh Khan started bearing fruit in the last couple of seasons. While it has a job to protect its reputation, the management tried hard not to deviate from its core philosophy.

“We have gone for continuity with younger talent like off-spinning allrounder Lalit Yadav, seam-bowling allrounder Ripal Patel and leg-spinner Pravin Dubey. We have also invested in Yash Dhull, Sarfaraz and Vicky Ostwal. It’s very important to look at the future and groom the next line,” the former India selector.

Yash Dhull Image Source: Google
Yash Dhull Image Source: Google

Delhi Capitals have got more variety with the ball to make up for the potency of their former attack. The power-hitting in the lower middle order will be tested. Shardul Thakur has never been such an important cog of a team before. Changing their game plan will be a challenge for them but with coach Ricky Ponting around, one can be rest assured there will be a negligible change in the attacking brand of cricket.

Delhi Capitals squad for IPL 2022: Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Rishabh Pant (c), Axar Patel, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Shardul Thakur, Mustafizur Rahman, Kuldeep Yadav, Ashwin Hebbar, Sarfaraz Khan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, KS Bharat, Mandeep Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Chetan Sakariya, Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel, Yash Dhull, Rovman Powell, Pravin Dubey, Lungi Ngidi, Tim Seifert, Vicky Ostwal

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Picks Best Current World XI Who Have Been Products Of Under-19 Cricket

Aakash Chopra has picked the best current World XI comprising players who have played previously at the Under-19 World Cup. Only one Indian cricketer figures in the team, with the likes of keeper Rishabh Pant and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja failing to make the grade.

The Under-19 World Cups have brought into the limelight plenty of players who have gone on to shine at the senior level. Apart from Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, some of the other current Indian players like Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan have all set the stage on fire at the Under-19 level.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Picked Babar Azam And Virat Kohli In His XI

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra picked Babar Azam as the first player in the XI.

He elaborated: “Babar Azam, you saw him playing drives in the under-19 World Cup, he was looking good. He comes from a cricketing family and it was the first time we got to see his potential, although you don’t know how much that potential will be realized.”

Virat Kohli, the former Indian skipper who stepped down as India’s most successful Test skipper recently was certainly picked by the cricketer-turned-commentator.

Aakash Chopra had the following to say about the former Indian skipper: “After him, Virat Kohli. That’s a personal story because when he was selected for India under-19, he was already a part of the Ranji Trophy team and I have seen him closely. The qualities were there, it seemed the boy will do well but I will be honest, I didn’t feel he will do this well.”

Virat Kohli and Eoin Morgan Image Credit: Getty Images.
Virat Kohli and Eoin Morgan Image Credit: Getty Images.

Two other modern batting greats – Australia’s Steve Smith and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson – also made it to the team chosen by Aakash Chopra.

The latter observed: “Steve Smith, if you see his photo as a kid, you will say a leg-spinner had come who could bat a little but he will become Steve unstoppable Smith. Kane consistent Williamson – it was the same World Cup where Virat Kohli was there against him. In fact, Kohli dismissed Williamson.”

The 44-year-old picked Dinesh Chandimal, Eoin Morgan and Shimron Hetmyer to complete his batting lineup.

Aakash Chopra said: “After that, Dinesh Chandimal. I will keep him in the team as a wicket-keeper. Eoin Morgan, World Cup-winning captain. He used to play for Ireland at that time, now he is England’s captain. Shimron Hetmyer – we had seen his ability to hit sixes in under-19 cricket.”

Eoin Morgan who is the limited-overs skipper of England currently, captained the Ireland team at the 2006 Under-19 World Cup. He also finished as the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament, with his 338 runs only behind Cheteshwar Pujara’s 349. Eoin Morgan has the most career runs in U19 World Cup history for Ireland with 606 runs in 13 innings from 2004 to 2006 followed by Pakistan’s Babar Azam, who has 585 runs in 12 innings from 2010 to 2012.

Aakash Chopra Picked Pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi And Kagiso Rabada

Aakash Chopra picked all-rounders Bangladesh’s Mehidy Hasan Miraz and England’s Chris Woakes as the first two bowlers in his bowling lineup.

He elaborated: “Mehidy Hasan Miraz – one of my favorite players, his performance has been very good. Off-spin, batting – he is brilliant. Then Chris Woakes, he also made the journey from the under-19 World Cup to the England side.”

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

The former India opener chose Pakistan’s pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and South Africa’s pacer Kagiso Rabada as the final two players in his XI.

Aakash Chopra observed: “Then Shaheen Afridi and Kagiso Rabada. These are two other big names whom you see and say – Well done yaar, these boys have done very well.”

Shaheen Shah Afridi represented Pakistan at the 2018 under-19 World Cup. He snared 12 wickets in the five matches he played in the tournament, with a best of 6/15.

Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Brad Hogg Predicts Faf du Plessis Will Be The Most Sought Out Player In The IPL 2022 Mega Auction

Brad Hogg, the former Australian spinner feels several franchises will line up to acquire the services of Proteas opener Faf du Plessis in IPL 2022 mega auctions. The South African batter finished second in the IPL 2021 Orange Cap race, falling only a run short of fellow opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s tally.

The 37-year-old was not retained by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction. Purely a franchise cricketer at this point in time, Faf du Plessis continues to be in good touch.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brad Hogg Reckons Opener Faf du Plessis Could Go For 7-11 Crores

Brad Hogg feels that while CSK will look to acquire their former player, they will face a stern test from the likes of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Hogg said: “Du Plessis will be the most sought out player in the auction, because of his leadership skills. RCB, PBKS and KKR and CSK will go for him. He has leadership skills as well, which is why the other three teams will look to bring him in.”

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images

“He is very consistent at the top of the order as well. I reckon he could go for 7 Crore, could blow out to 11 crores, after especially what he did last year.”

The 37-year-old, despite being in sensational form in the build-up to the tournament, which included his 633-run IPL 2021 with season champions Chennai Super Kings was not included in the South African squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup.

Faf Du Plessis accumulated 277 runs in the Caribbean Premier League, followed by smashing 633 for the CSK in a title-winning campaign. However, it wasn’t good enough to get him a spot for the T20I World Cup.

Brad Hogg Reckons Shreyas Iyer, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammed Shami, David Warner, Ravichandran Ashwin, And Trent Boult May Fetch 4-5 crores And More

Brad Hogg also predicted the fate of other marquee players at the auction. The former player believes a race involving three franchises could be in store for former Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer. He noted that his former Delhi Capitals teammates pacers Mohammad Shami and Kagiso Rabada would be hot properties at the auction as well and would fetch a lot of money.

He continued: “Iyer is a consistent player, controls the innings, but also with his experience in captaining in the IPL, I think PBKS and RCB will go for Iyer, KKR might even have a dab as well. I think he will go for about 4 crores.”

“Rabada, always bowling in those dangerous situations and he does the job well, picks up wickets, bowls with a reasonable economy. I think he should go for 4-5 Cr.”

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Image Credit: Twitter)

“All 10 teams will be very aggressive going after Shami, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is up about the 5 Cr mark or more. Don’t see Warner going for anything more than 4 Cr.”

Brad Hogg feels due to Pat Cummins’ newfound responsibility as Australia’s Test captain, franchises could be hesitant to bid for him. However, he reckons the pacer’s quality is likely to generate a bid of up to INR 7.5 crore. The former spinner also believes both Ravichandran Ashwin and Trent Boult will fetch at least INR 5 crore in the IPL 2022 auction.

The IPL mega auction will take place on February 12 and 13. The 15th edition of the competition is scheduled to begin on March 27.

Brad Hogg’s Predictions In IPL 2022 Mega Auctions:-

  • Faf du Plessis- Rs 7-11 crore
  • Shikhar Dhawan- Rs 7.5 crore
  • Trent Boult- Rs 5 crore
  • R Ashwin- Rs 5-7 crore
  • Pat Cummins- Rs 7.5 crore
  • Quinton de Kock- Rs 5 crore
  • Shreyas Iyer- Rs 4 crore
  • Kagiso Rabada- Rs 4-5 crore
  • Mohd Shami- Rs 5 crore
  • David Warner- Rs 4 crore
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