The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 gets underway with an exciting face-off between Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) today at the IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. Both teams have appointed new captains this season – Shikhar Dhawan for PBKS and Nitish Rana for KKR, and both will be eager to make a strong impression in their opening game.
PBKS have experienced frequent changes in leadership over the past few years, and they will be looking to find stability under Dhawan’s captaincy. The team suffered a setback ahead of the season, with Jonny Bairstow being ruled out due to ECB’s decision not to give clearance despite his recovery from a leg injury.
On the other hand, KKR’s leadership change was necessitated by Shreyas Iyer’s injury. The team will be led by Nitish Rana, who will be keen to showcase his leadership skills and take KKR to the playoffs.
Match predictions and probable playing XIs:
Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prabsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Rahul Chahar.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Venkatesh Iyer, N Jadgadeesan, Nitish Rana (C), Mandeep Singh, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Vaibhav Arora.
Team news and injury updates:
Punjab Kings will be without Jonny Bairstow for the entire season. Liam Livingstone and Kagiso Rabada will also be unavailable for the opening match.
Kolkata Knight Riders will miss regular captain Shreyas Iyer due to injury. Shakib Al Hasan and Litton Das are also unavailable as they are on national duty.
This high-voltage clash will set the tone for the rest of the season, and fans can expect a thrilling encounter between two teams hungry for success. With both sides having fresh leadership and strategies, it will be interesting to see how they adapt and perform in today’s match.