Image Source - Twitter

IPL 2022 – Best Punjab Kings lineup to face the Gujarat Titans Match 16

On April 8, the Punjab Kings (PBKS) will face the unbeaten Gujarat Titans (GT) in Match 16 of the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium (Friday). PBKS enter the match following a 54-run victory over the defending champions Chennai Super Kings.

On the other hand, the Gujarat Titans, the newcomers, have won both of their previous meetings. GT defeated the Lucknow Super Giants by five wickets in their first match and defeated the formidable Delhi Capitals by a margin of 14 runs in their second match.

The Punjab Kings, who have won two of their first three matches, may make a change to their playing XI by benching Sri Lankan batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa in favour of England limited-overs specialist Jonny Bairstow.

Keeping this in mind, here is the strongest lineup that the Punjab Kings can put on the field against the formidable Gujarat Titans.

 

Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan open the innings

 

Image Source – Twitter

 

Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan, the PBKS openers, have yet to demonstrate their real colours. The pair struck quickfire blows in the opening game against RCB, chasing a lofty target of more than 200. Unfortunately, both Agarwal and Dhawan were off their game against KKR in their second match of the season.

Mayank, in particular, is struggling with the bat. In PBKS’ third match against Chennai Super Kings, the captain managed only four runs. Dhawan, on the other hand, struck a crucial 33 off 24 against the Yellow Army. The senior hitters will try to improve their performance against GT in their forthcoming encounter.

 

 Jonny Bairstow, Jitesh Sharma, and Shahrukh Khan bring the spice to the middle order

 

Image Source – Twitter

 

Punjab Kings may be tempted to call in wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow in lieu of Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Meanwhile, Jitesh Sharma, who smashed three maximums in a useful 26-ball 17 against CSK, is set to keep his spot and will also have a significant part to play for his franchise.

While Shahrukh Khan was removed without troubling the scorers against KKR, he produced a match-winning innings of an unbroken 24 runs off 20 deliveries against RCB in the tournament opener. The 26-year-old, though, struggled against the reigning champs, scoring just six runs off 11 balls. If the PBKS middle-order were to mount a challenge against GT, they will need to fire against them.

 

Liam Livingstone and Odean Smith form a terrorising all-rounder pair

 

Image Source – Twitter

 

After shown his potential in the first two rounds, England batsman Liam Livingstone displayed his true colours against CSK, hitting 60 runs off 32 balls. In his three-over performance, the 28-year-old also claimed crucial wickets of Shivam Dube and Dwayne Bravo.

Meanwhile, Odean Smith of the West Indies has been inconsistent in the past three encounters. In PBKS’s first match with RCB, the right-handed batsman was outstanding, scoring a vital 25 off only eight balls, blasting three maximums and one four. The right-arm bowler has taken two wickets in three appearances but has come at a high price.

 

Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Vaibhav Arora and Kagiso Rabada will form the bowling attack

 

Image Source – Twitter

 

With the exception of the match against RCB, in which they conceded 200+ runs, the Punjab Kings bowlers have performed admirably. Rahul Chahar, a leg-spinner, has been the standout bowler for PBKS, taking six wickets in just three matches. Kagiso Rabada and left-arm bowler Arshdeep Singh have also been efficient, picking up key wickets for their respective teams.

Vaibhav Arora, a youngster, was also outstanding on his debut against CSK. The 24-year-old has claimed two vital wickets in the form of opener Robin Uthappa and explosive batsman Moeen Ali for CSK. Arora opened the innings for his team, conceding only 24 runs in his four-over quota. With PBKS reducing CSK to 126/10 in 18 overs, the team management is unlikely to make any bowling changes.

 

All in all, the final playing XI for the Punjab Kings looks like this –

Wicket Keeper – Jonny Bairstow

Batters – Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan

All-Rounders – Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith

Bowlers – Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar, Vaibhav Arora, Kagiso Rabada