No team has ever won an IPL or any other major cricket tournament just by doing one discipline well.
The very best sides are as good with the bat as they are with the ball and it’s exactly this balance and ability to win games with one or the other discipline that makes good teams into champion teams. The uber-successful CSK and Mumbai in the IPL always boasted match-winners with both bat and ball.
In the case of the Punjab Kings, we’ll have to wait and see how their bowlers perform in 2022. But one thing is for sure: they could field one of the best and most powerful Top 6s ever seen in the IPL.
Here’s who the other nine teams will be fearing having to face and how the PBKS odds shape up for IPL betting fans.
Previously at Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians and more recently at Delhi, Dhawan is the second-highest runscorer in IPL history, behind only Virat Kohli.
His 192 matches have yielded 5784 runs, including two centuries and 44 fifties at an average of 34.84.
These days he’s in and out of India’s T20 side so will be desperate to score a load of runs in this year’s IPL and book his place on the plane to Australia.
Punjab outbid Rajasthan and former team Delhi for his services, eventually paying 8.25 Crore for the veteran run machine.
Not the most natural T20 player in the world given he often plays as a Test opener but the stats show he gets better every season.
Three years ago he averaged 25.53, two years ago it shot up to 38.54 and last year he got it up to over 40 for the first time, in a season where he scored four fifties in 12 games.
Despite a slow start to his IPL career, there’s not much wrong with his strike rate of 135 across exactly 100 IPL matches.
Was retained by Punjab and took over from KL Rahul as captain.
The England T20I side is one of the hardest in the world to get into but Bairstow has been a big part of it of late, now boasting 63 appearances for them.
Despite a Sunrisers Hyderabad dismal season last year and the fact that Bairstow didn’t return for the UAE leg of it, he still impressed while he was there, averaging 41 at a strike rate of 141 from seven matches.
He’ll definitely keep wicket but Punjab must decide whether to open with him or play him in the middle-order. Cost 6.75 Crore in the Mega Auction.
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Didn’t have much luck at Rajasthan Royals last year, only playing five games in the second half of the season and only scoring 42 runs, with Rajasthan knowing their race was run by the time he joined the action.
But those figures were in stark contrast to his performances for Perth in the Big Bash and for the Southern Brave in The Hundred (where they won it); he was the Player of the Tournament.
He’s also been good for England.
The highlight of his performances for his country was scoring 103 off 43 balls last summer against Pakistan, the fastest century-ever by a player on England T20 duty. He put in a decent display at the 2021 World Cup, as well.
His career strike rate of 144 in T20s is superb and includes two domestic centuries.
Like Bairstow, he likes to open, but will probably bat at 4, as well as bowling a few overs. Was the most expensive overseas signing at the Auction at 11.5 Crore.
Named after the famous Bollywood actor, Khan has all the tools to become a real IPL superstar.
Not that you’d know it by looking at his figures so far: at 26 he’s played just 11 matches, with a top score of 47.
But outside the IPL, he averages 46 in First-Class cricket and 43 in List A cricket.
In truth, he’s never quite got going in T20s with no fifties across exactly 50 matches (including T20 games not in the IPL) although his strike rate of 135 is very decent.
So we’re still waiting to see the best of him but this could be the season he starts smashing some sixes on the highest stage.
Punjab outbid Chennai Super Kings and KKR in the Mega Auction, paying 9 Crore for him, bringing him back after he played for them in 2021.
We’ll have to wait and see who they decide to play as their fourth overseas player.
Bairstow, Livingstone and Kagiso Rabada will all surely play so then it’s a straight choice between Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa and West Indies all-rounder Odean Smith.
Rajapask caught the eye of IPL teams during the 2021 T20 World Cup with some fearless hitting in the middle-order for Sri Lanka, especially in the death overs.
But with a few concerns about his fitness and with Smith more of an all-rounder, it may be the latter getting the nod.
Curiously, Smith is yet to score a T20 fifty in 17 innings at domestic level, or in his nine appearances for his country.
But then again, he’s often come in too low down the order to have a chance.
But a strike rate of 129 with the bat plus an average of just over a wicket a game with the ball, should see him get the fourth overseas spot and a place at number six for the Punjab Kings.
So there you have it. One of the most talented and explosive batting line-ups ever seen in IPL history is ready to go to war. If their bowlers can put on a good show, there’s no reason why Punjab can’t make their second IPL final, or better. 10CRIC make them 6.5 second-favourites to win their first-ever IPL title.
And here’s our 10CRIC review, explaining why we think they’re one of the very best IPL betting sites around.