Team Punjab will look to continue their hunt for Indian T20 League silverware in the upcoming edition that starts from March 26.
The franchise once again went for an entire squad rebuild, with Mayank Agarwal now handed the reins of the captaincy following KL Rahul’s departure to Team Lucknow.
Punjab retained only two players and spent INR 86.55 crore to assemble a squad that could possibly reach the playoffs stage in Indian T20 League 2022 for the first time since 2014.
Here we analyze what they have in the offering for the 2022 season.
Team Punjab squad
By retaining Mayank Agarwal (INR 12 crore) and pacer Arshdeep Singh (INR 4 crore), Team Punjab entered the Indian T20 League 2022 mega auction with INR 72 Crores in tow.
In the two-day mega auction held in Bengaluru last month, they shelled out INR 86.55 crore to recruit Liam Livingstone (INR 11.50 crore), Kagiso Rabada (INR 9.25 crore), Shahrukh Khan (INR 9 crore), Shikhar Dhawan (INR 8.25 crore) and Jonny Bairstow (INR 6.75 crore).
Team Punjab squad for Indian T20 League 2022: Mayank Agarwal (captain), Arshdeep Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Rahul Chahar, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell
Team Punjab strengths and weaknesses
Right off the bat, Team Punjab now boast of one of the diverse batting line-ups going into Indian T20 League 2022. Besides captain Mayank Agarwal, the franchise have two proven match-winners in Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow.
Furthermore, Punjab’s middle-order conundrum could possibly be solved with Liam Livingstone and Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh was one of the biggest headline makers as Punjab shelled out INR 9 crore to retain his services. The Chennai-born batter is known for his finishing role in the domestic circuit.
In the bowling department, Punjab have brought in Kagiso Rabada who is one of the best pacers in the tournament. Despite a below-par show in the 2021 edition, the Proteas star is someone to reckon with in the death overs.
The lack of an additional first-choice spinner besides Rahul Chahar is something that will haunt Team Punjab in Indian T20 League 2022.
Chahar, who arrives from five-time champions Mumbai, has the skillset to dismiss key batters in the middle overs but a certain over-reliance on the 22-year-old could effect fatigue and a drop in performances.
As far as pacers are concerned, Mayank Agarwal will need to identify who will be the front-line pacer going forward in the season. While Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh are tipped as outright contenders, the experienced Sandeep Sharma will likely give a healthy competition for places. As things stand, neither bowlers have shared the dressing room previously hence bowling combinations will be a tough nut to crack.
Another factor that could possibly trouble Punjab is the team synergy. Like in previous editions, the franchise once again opted to revamp the roster and that could possibly hinder their performances in the campaign.
Who can be the highest run-scorer for Team Punjab?
Shikhar Dhawan is the second-most prolific run-getter in the Indian T20 League, with 5,784 runs to his name. The southpaw is one of the few players to hit 500-plus runs in a single campaign on four or more occasions and will look to stitch stable partnerships along the season with new team-mates Mayank Agarwal, Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow.
Who can be the highest wicket-taker for Team Punjab?
Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh will lead Punjab’s bowling in Indian T20 League 2022. Rabada, who arrives from Delhi, has 76 wickets in 50 career matches at an economy of 8.21. Staring a new challenge, onlookers and Punjab fans can rest assured that Kagiso Rabada will
Where will Team Punjab finish in Indian T20 League 2022?
Having reached the playoffs of the Indian T20 League in the past three seasons, Rishabh Pant-led Delhi are expected to qualify for the playoffs in Indian T20 League 2022. If their new-look team can play to their potential, there is no reason why they cannot qualify for the latter stage of the tournament.
Punjab Indian T20 League 2022 schedule, fixtures and match times
All times are in India Standard Time (IST)
|March 27, 2022||Punjab vs Bangalore||3:30 PM IST||DY Patil Stadium|
|April 1, 2022||Kolkata vs Punjab||3:30 PM IST||Wankhede Stadium|
|April 3, 2022||Chennai vs Punjab||7:30 PM IST||Brabourne Stadium|
|April 8, 2022||Punjab vs Gujarat||7:30 PM IST||Brabourne Stadium|
|April 13, 2022||Mumbai vs Punjab||7:30 PM IST||MCA Stadium, Pune|
|April 17, 2022||Punjab vs Hyderabad||3:30 PM IST||DY Patil Stadium|
|April 20, 2022||Delhi vs Punjab||7:30 PM IST||MCA Stadium, Pune|
|April 25, 2022||Punjab vs Chennai||7:30 PM IST||Wankhede Stadium|
|April 29, 2022||Punjab vs Lucknow||7:30 PM IST||MCA Stadium, Pune|
|May 3, 2022||Gujarat vs Punjab||3:30 PM IST||DY Patil Stadium|
|May 7, 2022||Punjab vs Rajasthan||7:30 PM IST||Wankhede Stadium|
|May 13, 2022||Bangalore vs Punjab||7:30 PM IST||Brabourne Stadium|
|May 16, 2022||Punjab vs Delhi||7:30 PM IST||DY Patil Stadium|
|May 22, 2022||Hyderabad vs Punjab||7:30 PM IST||Wankhede Stadium|
Author: William Paul
Featured photo: AFP / Money Sharma