Punjab are one of the few teams in the Indian T20 league that are yet to win a title. However, they were absolutely superb in the recently concluded mega auction. As they have put together a formidable squad this time around, they would fancy their chances of winning their maiden title. So what would be their ideal playing XI for the fifteenth edition of the Indian T20 league? Today, we shall be taking a look at the best starting XI of Punjab.
1) Openers- Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan (C)
After the departure of KL Rahul, Punjab have got an ideal replacement in the form of Shikhar Dhawan. The Indian opener has been superb in the last few editions of the biggest T20 league in the world. On the other hand, Mayank Agarwal has been one of the most improved cricketers in the recent past. Thus, both of them can prove to be a superb opening combination.
2) Middle-order and wicket-keeper- Jonny Bairstow (WK), Liam Livingstone and Shahrukh Khan
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Punjab have arguably the strongest middle-order. Their firepower could enable the Punjab-based franchise to chase any total on their day. Jonny Bairstow can hit both, the spinners, as well as the seamers. Liam Livingstone’s muscle power is one of the best there is. As for Shahrukh Khan, the Tamil Nadu batter has been in the form of his life of late. He can hit the ball a long way as well.
3) All-rounders- Rishi Dhawan, Odean Smith and Harpreet Brar
Punjab’s lower-middle order is superb as well. While they might lack experience, the all-rounder’s of the franchise have a lot of potential. Rishi Dhawan recently won the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and has been playing as a genuine all-rounder. In the meanwhile, Odean Smith already showed glimpses of his potential during the recently concluded three-match one-day series against India. Besides, he has the ability to single-handedly win games as well. As for Harpreet Brar, he already showed what he can do during the previous edition in 2022.
4) Bowlers- Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh and Sandeep Sharma
After retaining Arshdeep Singh ahead of the mega auction, the fans of the franchise have a lot of expectations from him. Besides, he’s been one of Punjab’s best bowlers since 2020. The addition of Kagiso Rabada has boosted their pace attack, and now Singh and the Proteas pacer can bowl in tandem. Last but not the least, Sandeep Sharma is a valuable pick as he has the ability to pick wickets with the new ball.