The two teams were pretty active in the mega auction ahead of the tournament, trying to cover up their woes of the past seasons. Both the squads look pretty balanced, however, the two teams will be missing some key members in the first match. Punjab looks like a better bowling side, while Bangalore as always, looks like a strong batting side. Let’s have a look at the most probable elevens of both the teams for their first match.
Openers: Mayank Agarwal (C), Shikhar Dhawan
Mayank and Shikhar will give headaches to the opposition bowling attack. Both of them are pretty solid players and can shift gears according to the match situation. Besides, the left and right-hand combination will increase the bowler’s headache.
Middle Order: Prabhsimran Singh, Liam Livingstone (O), Shahrukh Khan
Punjab will be missing Johnny Bairstow at number three. The middle-order of the team looks inexperienced. Prabhsimran Singh and Liam Livingstone will have to perform well while settling themselves down at the big stage. Punjab will be hoping that Shahrukh Khan gives them a powerful and explosive finish.
All-Rounder: Odean Smith (O)
Odean Smith grabbed attention with his performances against India in the T20I series. He is a handy medium pace bowler and can swing his bat while batting lower down the order.
Bowlers: Harpreet Brar, Sandeep Sharma, Kagiso Rabada/Rishi Dhawan (O), Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar
The pace attack of the Punjab team looks very compact with Rabada, Arshdeep and Sandeep Sharma. Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar will be the spinning options for Punjab. If Rabada doesn’t play, Rishi Dhawan can be a good option.
Openers: Faf Du Plessis (C)(O), Anuj Rawat
With Glenn Maxwell missing the first few matches for Bangalore, they probably will push Kohli down the order at number 3. While the youngster Anuj Rawat will be opening with the new skipper Faf Du Plessis.
Middle Order: Virat Kohli, Sherfane Rutherford (O), Dinesh Karthik (WK)
In absence of Maxwell, Bangalore will opt for Rutherford as their middle order overseas option. Virat Kohli will be the anchor for the team, while Rutherford and Karthik will look to be aggressive around him and give them powerful finishes.
All-Rounders: Mahipal Lomror, Shabaz Ahmed
Lomror and Ahmed will be used as pinch-hitters in the batting order and will be entrusted with the job of increasing the run rate of the team. While bowling, the two will look to control the opposition during the middle overs.
Bowlers: Wanindu Hasaranga (O), Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj, David Willey (O).
The main spinning option for Bangalore will be Sri Lankan Wanindu Hasaranga. He will be accompanied by Ahmed and Lomror. The pace attack will be missing Hazlewood. Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj and David Willey will be the fast bowling options for the team.