IPL 2021 Preview: Punjab Kings (PBKS)
For a long time now, Punjab Kings, previously known as Kings XI Punjab, of the Indian Premier League has been the ‘almost’ team. They’ve almost beaten the best team of the season, they’ve almost made the playoffs on many occasions and they’ve almost been the side to beat ahead of all seasons.
This time though, they have decided to change all of that starting with their name. They are no longer called Kings XI Punjab but are now Punjab Kings. The kind of rebranding exercise that helped Delhi Capitals richly is something the Punjab team is hoping to cash in on.
Known for exhilarating cricket and unabashed style of batting, the Kings are making no stone unturned for a change of fortunes. Over the course of 13 seasons in the tournament’s history, Punjab has turned out to be one of the underwhelming sides despite having no dearth of talent or skill of the topmost level.
The fans of the franchise have had to experience an extreme range of excitement along with despair when it comes to the team’s success. However, when it comes to putting money on the Kings, they might as well surprise you and make you a winner.
You can do IPL betting and place bets on PBKS.
Punjab Kings at IPL 2021: The story so far
Another year, another season of struggle. The Punjab Kings just can’t seem to get their balance right and find any consistency in the IPL. That they’re even in with a chance of making the Playoffs is almost solely down to the brilliance of their skipper KL Rahul. He was the competition’s top runscorer last year despite his side not even making the Playoffs and is on course to do so again with his 331 runs bettered only by Shikhar Dhawan of the Delhi Capitals.
The problem is he’s getting very little support. Mayank Agarwal has been decent with 260 runs, including two fifties, but the two men who really should have been getting plenty of runs, just haven’t. Chris Gayle was brilliant last year but just hasn’t replicated his form and is averaging just 25 for the tournament. Nicholas Pooran, one of the finest T20 batsmen in the world, has been even worse: seven matches have yielded just 28 runs.
With the ball, Mohammad Shami and Arshdeep Singh have been the best of a bad bunch with Aussie pair Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson really struggling and being extremely expensive so far.
On paper, the team actually looks well-balanced and competitive, but cricket isn’t played on paper, and they just can’t seem to consistently perform to the level required to make the Playoffs.
Punjab Kings at IPL 2021: What might happen next
The Punjab Kings actually caught a break when the IPL was suspended because KL Rahul was supposed to have an operation after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis. He would have missed at least two or three matches had the season not been interrupted. And if that seems like an exaggeration to suggest that one player can make such a difference, it really isn’t. He really is that good and that important to their cause.
The big question mark for the Punjab Kings when the season resumes is which four overseas players they should field to get the team balance right. Dawid Malan is too good a player to leave out. Moises Henriques is a highly experienced middle-order batsman who also bowls a bit so those two should play. As should West Indies star Fabien Allen. His left-arm spin and ferocious batting is a huge asset to any side and no game is ever lost for Punjab while he’s at the crease.
Then it should be a case of deciding who the fourth should be with all of Meredith, Richardson, Pooran, and Gayle being the strong contenders.
It’s not impossible for them to make the Playoffs but they’d probably have to win at least four of their remaining six games to be in with a chance of making the Playoffs.
Verdict: If they get their team balance right and pick the players discussed above, they could still make the Playoffs. For that to happen, PBKS would want few other results to go their way. But they’ve probably lost too many matches already. Still, it would be no surprise if KL Rahul ended up as the IPL’s top batsman for a second-season running.
Odds On Delhi Capitals To Win IPL 2021
Betway are offering odds of 17.0 on the Punjab Kings going all the way this year. It would really take a monumental effort for them to win from this position and the feeling is the wait for their first-ever IPL success is just going to go on.
BEST IPL BETTING SITES 2021
Punjab Kings team news
Punjab had INR 53.2 crore to splurge at the auction and they did buy nine players, the most expensive being Jhye Richardson who went for a whopping INR 14 crore. Hobart Hurricanes pacer Riley Meredith, who recently made his T20I debut against New Zealand, was their next big buy at INR 8 crore.
Talented Indian youngster Sharukh Khan went for INR 5.25 crore, Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques was snapped up by the Kings for INR 4.20 crore and West Indian spin-bowling allrounder Fabian Allen went for INR 75 lakh, completing the top buys of the Punjab side for this season.
Other players that were added to their squad at the auction were Jalaj Saxena (INR 30 lakh), Saurabh Kumar (INR 20 lakh), and Utkarsh Singh (INR 20 lakh).
Punjab released players like Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman who were expected to deliver big-time but failed massively.
Here’s what their team make-up for 2021 looks like:
Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Sarfaraz Khan, Mayank Agarwal, Dawid Malan
Deepak Hooda, Jalaj Saxena, Moises Henriques, Fabian Allen, Harpreet Brar, Shahrukh Khan, Saurabh Kumar, Jhye Richardson
KL Rahul (Captain), Nicolas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh
Mohd. Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Utkarsh Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Ishan Porel
Punjab Kings Projected XI
KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicolas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Jhye Richardson, Mohd Shami, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin
You can also follow our IPL Match Predictions page.
Punjab Kings: Team Strengths
Safe to say that the Punjab Kings have three strengths – batting, batting, and more batting. The imposing presence of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, and Mayank Agarwal is a threat to any bowling attack. And if they misfire, they’ve Nicolas Pooran waiting in the wings to hit sixes at will.
Punjab Kings: Team Weaknesses
One of the glaring weaknesses of the Punjab side has been inconsistency, especially with the ball. If Mohd Shami happens to have a bad day, then they aren’t very potent in stopping the run flow. Support for Shami is something they’ll look for from bowlers like Jhye Richardson and Chris Jordan. All pacers for them last season went for more than 8.50 runs per over and that’s not great signs when net run rate tends to play a big role at the business end of the tournament.
On the other hand, spin bowling continues to be a bane for Punjab irrespective of their big buys in the auction. The absence of a quality international spin bowler could trouble them in the middle overs and that may be the biggest challenge up for their young spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin.
Punjab Kings IPL history and record
Punjab Kings Fast Facts
- Owners: Mohit Burman (46%), Ness Wadia (23%), Preity Zinta (23%), Karan Paul (8%)
- Founded: 2008 as Kings XI Punjab
- Director of cricket operations and head coach: Anil Kumble
- Assistant coach: Andy Flower
- Batting coach: Wasim Jaffer
- Bowling coach: Damien Wright
- Fielding coach: Jonty Rhodes
- Brand Ambassador: Preity Zinta
- Home ground: PCA Stadium, Mohali
WHO ARE THE OWNERS OF PUNJAB KINGS?
Whenever we see a Punjab Kings game, we are used to seeing Preity Zinta cheering on from the sidelines. However, she is just one of four franchise owners. Punjab Kings are split between Zinta, Ness Wadia of the Wadia Group, Mohit Burman, and Karan Paul.
Essentially, Preity Zinta is the face of Kings XI’s board and something of an ambassador for the franchise. Nevertheless, a powerful group of four owns the whole.
WHICH IS THE HOME GROUND OF PUNJAB KINGS?
Punjab Kings’ base is in Mohali. The team play at the PCA Stadium in the city, which has a capacity of 26,000. There have been times when PBKS have needed to play elsewhere and their secondary ground is the Holkar Stadium at Indore. This is actually bigger than the PCA Stadium with a capacity of 30,000 but it does take Punjab Kings away from their main fanbase.