IPL 2022: 3 Changes PBKS should make to get back to winning ways

Punjab Kings (PBKS) team. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The Punjab Kings (PBKS) must be having a sweet and sour feeling after the first week of the Indian Premier League 2022 season. They won their first league match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), chasing down a total of 205 runs on the board in an emphatic manner.

The second fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) saw them getting dismissed for 137 runs, with the key openers not being at their best to provide the contribution and the bowlers failing to defend the total as well. The best performer for the team in the first two matches was Sri Lanka batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

The team welcomed the Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada in the second fixture, while the experienced Englishman Jonny Bairstow has now completed the quarantine. With a loss in the last fixture, the team management has a task to chalk out plans to win the next league game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Let’s look at the 3 changes PBKS can make for their next game

1. Jonny Bairstow in place of Liam Livingstone

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The regular wicketkeeper-batter of the England limited-overs team Jonny Bairstow joined the PBKS team camp ahead of their last fixture and has completed the mandatory quarantine of three days and will be available for selection for the team’s league game against CSK.

He is expected to replace fellow Englishman Liam Livingstone, who has managed to score only 38 runs in the two matches so far. Bairstow’s best performance came in the 2019 edition, where he smashed 445 runs at an average of 55.62 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in his debut IPL campaign.

In the 2020 season, he garnered 345 runs in 11 matches and scored 248 runs in seven appearances in the last edition. He can also don the wicketkeeping gloves for the PBKS team if given an opportunity.

2. Rishi Dhawan in place of Raj Bawa

Rishi Dhawan
Rishi Dhawan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The youngster Raj Bawa returned as the best all-around performer for the Indian team in U19 World Cup 2022, with 252 runs and nine wickets to his name. But in the first two appearances in IPL 2022, he has failed to leave an impact on the team’s score with the bat and has not bowled as well. In the first league match against RCB, he was dismissed for a duck and contributed only 11 runs in the following game against KKR.

The experienced Rishi Dhawan is a like-for-like replacement for Raj Bawa in the PBKS playing XI due to his terrific form in the domestic circuit. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021/22, Rishi contributed 117 runs in the 14 league matches. He also followed it up by leading the Himachal Pradesh team to their first-ever Vijay Hazare Trophy by scoring 458 runs and picking up 17 wickets in eight appearances.

Adding up the above stats, Rishi has featured in a total of 24 matches of the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the past. He can be a possible option for the team management as an experienced all-rounder.

3. Harpreet Brar in powerplay overs

Harpreet Brar
Harpreet Brar. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar shot to fame in the 2021 season by taking the wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Glenn Maxwell, finishing with figures of 3/19 off four overs against RCB. Since then he has been looked upon as a talented bowler, who can keep the batters quiet.

Looking at his performances, Brar served as the permanent member of the Punjab team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2021/22 season and picked up four wickets in five matches in both the tournaments.

However, in the first two matches of this edition, Brar has been ordinary, giving 58 runs in a total of five overs. But, he can be valuable for the team against the right-handed CSK openers, Robin Uthappa and Ruturaj Gaikwad, with his uncanny ability to contain them in the powerplay overs with his arm balls.

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