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PBKS vs GT Head to Head, Preview, Playing XI, Where to Watch Details

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Punjab Kings are set to get a Jonny Bairstow upgrade.

Punjab Kings team
Punjab Kings team. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

In a league where games can come thick and fast, both Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans, rivals on April 8, have put their foot firm and right. The tournament is into its second week, and while the playoffs fate of the participants in eight-team editions was often not confirmed until the last week – sometimes not even until the last fixture – those dynamics could well see a shift with the tournament expanded to a 10-team event.

Given this, leaving things for too late will certainly not be the wisest thing to do. Funny, unprecedented things have already happened this year, with Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, two of the league’s most successful franchises with nine crowns between them, still waiting to open their account after having played three games each.

To the end of not leaving things until the last moment, both Kings and Titans have done well so far – both are tied on four points, with Kings having won two of the three games played, whereas the Titans remain the only undefeated team so far in the league with two wins.

The Hardik Pandya-led Titans have proved their naysayers wrong in grand fashion after questions were raised aplenty on their shopping strategy at the February auction. They started their campaign on a victorious note, handing a five-wicket defeat to fellow debutants Lucknow Super Giants in a chase of 159 and then adroitly defended 171 against the Delhi Capitals to secure a 14-run win.

Shubman Gill has trashed his cautious approach and has shown intentions to become the opener everyone wants him to become; all-rounder Hardik Pandya is back and is not just bowling but finishing his quota; Rahul Tewatia is providing the late impetus to the innings and has played a match-winning knock already; Mohammed Shami and Lockie Ferguson have delivered one bone-chilling spell each, and Rashid Khan, well, is just doing what Rashid Khan does.

Perhaps, the only concerns are Vijay Shankar, who is yet to fly off the blocks, and Varun Aaron, who bowled an expensive spell in the first game and might be benched due to an injury he picked in the second.

As for the Kings, the new season has proved to be equally good, and for a change, they are scratching heads not out of bewilderment of losses but owing to a problem of plenty. They are set to get a Jonny Bairstow upgrade (as if an order comprising the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone and Odean Smith is not enough daunting). But for all his caliber and class as a white-ball player, there is enough congestion in the Kings’ ranks that there is no easy swapping available for Bairstow.

Even the uncapped duo of Jitesh Sharma and Vaibhav Arora managed to impress instantly in the team’s thumping 54-run victory over the Super Kings in the last fixture. The hero, however, was Livingstone, who displayed his full range to bring the Kings back to winning ways.

Their batters have played only in the top gear irrespective of the situation and rather quickly, they have learnt both the plus and minus of that approach, after the overhaul of 206 against Royal Challengers Bangalore with six balls to spare, and the stutter to 136 against Kolkata Knight Riders. However, in the shortest format, the Kings’ batting blueprint will likely succeed far more often than it would fail.

Pitch and conditions 

“Because it was like Niagara Falls in terms of the wetness…”, that was CSK coach Stephen Fleming’s say on the impact of dew at the Brabourne Stadium after his team’s loss against Lucknow Super Giants, who chased 210 for fun at the venue.

In the subsequent games, the groundsmen have been using a wax chemical spray to negate dew and the results have been evident: four of the last seven games have been won by teams defending. The last game at Brabourne was also a case of successful defence, as Punjab beat Chennai by 54.

Playing combinations for PBKS vs GT

Punjab Kings

Despite two blazing cameos in two out of the three games so far, the easiest possible way to fit Bairstow into the XI is excluding Rajapaksa.

Predicted XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Vaibhav Arora, Arshdeep Singh

Gujarat Titans 

Aaron, if not fit, could make way for Yash Dayal, whose sensational run at the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 for Uttar Pradesh earned him an INR 3.2 crore paycheque at the auction. The left-arm pacer scalped 14 wickets in seven games at 17.35 and an economy rate of just 3.77.

Predicted XI: Matthew Wade, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Abhinav Manohar, Rashid Khan, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Aaron/Yash Dayal, Mohammed Shami.

PBKS vs GT Head-to-Head

This is the maiden meeting of the two sides.

PBKS vs GT Broadcast Details

Match Timings – 07:30 PM IST

TV – Star Sports Network

Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar

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