PUN: Game Changers

posted by
April 4, 2023
PUN: Game Changers

Punjab have gotten off to a good start in the 16th season of the Indian T20 League with a new skipper leading the power packed franchise. The Punjab franchise has a new coach in Trevor Bayliss who replaced Anil Kumble last year. Punjab bought the most expensive player in Indian T20 League history in the form of Sam Curran and would be hoping that he lives up to his billing. Mohali wicket is known to assist the seamer and with Arshdeep and Rabada in their ranks and the league back to its home and away format, Punjab would be a force with the ball. Sikandar Raza is also an important addition to the side and would add value with both bat and ball.

Punjab Players who could be the game changers in the 16th season of the Indian T20 League

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan is the second highest run scorer in the Indian T20 League with over 6000 runs in the league. Dhawan would be hoping for a cracking season and would want to use the Indian T20 League as his audition ground to be considered for the ICC World Cup which is happening in India later this year. Shikhar Dhawan holds the record for the most fours in Indian T20 League history, having smacked 707 fours so far. Dhawan’s contribution at the top will be critical for the success of the franchise.

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Sam Curran

The man of the series from the last edition of the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup broke all the records in the latest auctions of the league where he became the highest paid player of all time. Sam will play an important role for the franchise and will hope to do justice to his huge price tag. Sam has time and again proved his mettle with both bat and ball and would hope for a great season as the Mohali pitch and the weather condition would assist him, specially in home matches.

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Arshdeep Singh

Arshdeep Singh has been a long loyal servant of the Punjab team and his performances in the league has helped him earn a call in the national team. Singh had a pretty ordinary season last year when he picked up only 10 wickets in the 14 matches he played and would hope for a much better season this time around. Singh is known for his ability to swing the ball and his death bowling skills that can control any batter. Arshdeep was the highest wicket taker for India in the T20 World Cup last year where he picked up 10 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 15.60.

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Kagiso Rabada

A pacer who needs no introduction, Rabada is one of the best speedster in the business and would add the much needed power to the Punjab bowling line up. Rabada along with Arshdeep could make up a formidable bowling duo that would get some assistance from the home ground pitch and weather conditions at Mohali. Rabada is just one wicket short of 100 Indian T20 League wickets and he would not have to wait a long time to reach that milestone. Rabada has the best strike rate of 14.42 in Indian T20 League history for any bowler reaching or having crossed the 100 wicket milestone. Punjab would be hoping for some early strikes from their premier bowler.

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Sikandar Raza

The newest All-Rounder recruit for the Punjab team has been in some form over the last one year and has a lot of franchise experience backing him. Raza is an entertainer with both bat and ball and he displayed his skills in his debut Indian T20 league match. Raza is a great hitter of the Cricket ball and can chip in and get a few wickets with his mystery off spin that he has slightly tweaked in the shorter format of the game.

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Liam Livingstone

A player who could single handedly change the complexion of any game with his big hitting abilities is a doubtful starter for the early part of the league. Liam would join the squad after a few matches as he is nursing an injury that he picked up last year during the Pakistan tour. If information is to be believed, he is almost reaching full fitness levels and should be with the team soon. Liam’s inclusion would definitely bolster the Punjab side as apart from his batting, he is more than a handy leg spinner.

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Matt Short

A last minute replacement for Jonny Bairstow, Matthew Short is a great Victorian All-Rounder who has been a star in the Big Bash League for the Adelaide team. Apart from being a hard hitting top order batter, Short is a more than capable spin bowler and that would help him in Indian conditions. He was the player of the tournament in the last edition of the Australian League.

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Bhanuka Rajapaksa

The Sri Lankan batter was bought by the Punjab team in the last year's auction and scored 206 runs in the 9 games he played for the franchise. Having won the Asia cup T20 tournament with the Sri Lankan side last year, Bhanuka was the highest run getter of the tournament for Sri Lanka with 191 runs in 6 games at an average of 47 and a strike rate of 150. Bhanuka would be a key batter for the Punjab team given his current form and will look to capitalize in the early overs of the match.

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