IPL 2023 Season Review: Punjab Kings (PBKS)
Punjab Kings with 6 wins in 14 matches, finished IPL 2023 with 12 points at 8th position.
After the IPL 2023 auction, Punjab Kings emerged as one of the strongest sides on paper. They are yet to deliver on their caliber on the ground. Punjab Kings had yet another disappointing end to their campaign. Punjab Kings have finished 8th in the IPL 2023. They started well in their campaign, but in mid-season when Dhawan sat out for a few games due to injury, PBKS lost the momentum. Punjab were also hit by multiple injuries. Jonny Bairstow didn’t play any game this season and was out of the entire IPL 2023. Liam Livingstone also missed out on the start of the season and made his comeback only after they had played 8-9 games.
Pace bowler Kagiso Rabada also missed out on a few games and was completely out of rhythm in the IPL 2023. Rabada had a poor season, was not economical, and went wicketless in several games. This was one of the key reasons for Punjab missing out on playoffs this season. Along with Rabad, Arshdeep also conceded runs. Punjab’s middle order also looked weak without Bhanuka Rajapaksha. Sam Curran and Shahrukh Khan did well in a few games but were inconsistent with their performance. They had an opportunity in the last two games in Dharamshala but failed to win both, one against Delhi and another against Rajasthan. Punjab Kings will have to wait for another season for their quest for an IPL title.
Punjab Kings played 14 league games and won 6 of their encounters. They lost 8 games and finished 8th in the table with 12 points. Due to their inconsistent performance, their NRR was also negative, -0.388. They started their campaign on a higher note and won their first two games.
Leading Run Score – Shikhar Dhawan:
Captain Shikhar Dhawan was the leading run scorer for Punjab Kings in the IPL 2023. Shikhar Dhawan batted brilliantly, he was the Orange cap holder in the first three innings. Then an injury happened and it changed the momentum for Punjab and Dhawan completely. He played 11 games for Punjab and scored 373 runs at an average of 41.44 and a decent strike rate of 142.91. He also scored 3 fifties in the season and 99 not out against Rajasthan Royals in Guwahati was his best.
Leading Wicket taker – Arshdeep Singh:
Arshdeep Singh had a great wicket-taking season but he failed to contain batters from scoring in the IPL 2023. Punjab Kings lacked an impact pace bowler. Arshdeep Singh picked up 17 wickets in 14 games with an economy rate of 9.69. He bowled 50 overs this season and conceded 493 runs in the IPL 2023. He conceded 50-plus runs in two innings, one against Lucknow and One against Mumbai in Mohali.
The Under-performer of the Season
Punjab Kings bowling had a lot of expectations from Kagiso Rabada. He had a terrific season in the IPL 2022 and won many games with his brute pace and attacking line. Rabada didn’t look fit and had a poor season with the ball. He could only play 6 games in the IPL 2023 and picked up only 7 wickets. His economy rate was higher than Arshdeep’s. He bowled with 10.06 economy in 23 overs this season. His performance had an impact on Punjab’s campaign.
Punjab Kings’ leg spinner Rahul Chahar was also not at his best rhythm in the spin bowling attack. Rahul has been a wicket-taker bowler in this format but he failed to bag many in this season for Punjab Kings. In all 14 games, he could only pick up 8 wickets, he was economical but he could not provide breakthroughs in middle overs. Punjab needed a bowler to break partnerships.
When Liam Livingstone came back from injury, he made his entry count in the playing eleven. He played a few magical innings for Punjab Kings but failed to gather support from the other end. Liam Livingstone played 9 games this season and went on to smash 279 with a magnificent strike rate of 163.15. He smashed 20 fours and 19 sixes in his 9 innings.
Top team performance
Punjab Kings had a brilliant run chase against Lucknow Super Giants at Ekana Stadium. Punjab Kings after losing early wickets chased down 160 runs. Sikandar Raza (57) and Shahrukh Khan (23) in the final overs put a magical partnership on a tough wicket to bat on. Punjab were three down inside the power play in that game and Sikandar Raza came as a rescuer for them. Raza played a magnificent knock of 57 runs in 41 balls and smashed 4 fours and 3 sixes. Sam Curran led Punjab Kings in that game due to Shikhar Dhawan’s injury.
Captain’s report card
After releasing Mayank Agarwal from the squad, Punjab Kings picked Shikhar Dhawan, an experienced skipper as the leader of Punjab Kings. Shikhar Dhawan had a break in between the season because of an injury. Dhawan had a decent IPL 2023 with the bat but somehow he failed to get the best out of his star players like Kagiso Rabada, and Arshdeep Singh. One of the bigger positives Dhawan had as a leader was to provide youngsters with opportunities. From Prabhsimran Singh to Jitesh Sharma, Harpreet Brar everyone got the backing from their captain. But Punjab’s management and captain Shikhar looked to balance their squad around one player, Sam Curran. They miserably failed in that mission.
Lessons to be learned
As Captain Shikhar Dhawan accepted in one of the games that they lack an off-spinner in the middle overs, Punjab will look to find a formidable option in the next auction. Punjab banked too much on Sam Curran. Curran had a key role in Punjab Kings but he was inconsistent with the ball. Punjab will look to build on a formidable bench as well. Arshdeep and Rabada’s performance was a big wake-up call for Punjab.