Match 8 of the IPL 2022 edition will see the two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) face the one-time runners-up Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Friday evening (April 01). While this will be only the second game for Punjab, Shreyas Iyer & Co. will play their third match as the first week of the 15th season comes to a close.
Talking about the PBKS outfit, they started their campaign with a spirited five-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise. Bowling first, Punjab leaked runs as RCB posted 205-2 in 20 overs. However, their batters such as skipper Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksha, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith and Shahrukh Khan combined with vital knocks to propel the side to a thrilling last-over win, at the Dr. DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai.
After a desirable start, Punjab will aim to move past their inconsistent tag and make it two wins in a row. It won’t be easy facing the KKR outfit, who have won and lost a match each. Iyer-led KKR are a formidable unit with a good mix of batters and enough variety in their bowling department.
While Punjab have some big hitters, they will need their bowling to improve with each passing game. Kagiso Rabada looks all set to don the Punjab jersey for the first time in the KKR face-off. The South African seamer will look to add to the bowling unit and spearhead the attack versus Kolkata.
While Punjab need not make a lot of changes, they will have to fit in Rabada. In all likelihood, Raj Bawa is expected to warm the bench to make way for Rabada. The rest of the line-up should remain the same. As of now, there is no news on the availability of Jonny Bairstow, hence, Rajapaksha will retain his place.
PBKS likely XI vs KKR:
Mayank Agarwal (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh.