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Who Has Stood Out in the Opening Half of Punjab Kings’ IPL Season?

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | May 14, 2022 10:35 AM

We’re past the halfway point in the 2022 IPL season. The Punjab Kings will be hoping to improve their results in the second half of the campaign, as they have won just five of their opening 11 matches.

Here is a look at the positives so far, and the players who have shone in a Punjab jersey.

Liam Livingstone

England international Liam Livingstone is considered one of the most destructive batsmen in world T20 cricket, and he has shown that for the Kings already this season. The Lancashire player is a huge hitter of the ball who strikes fear into every bowler in the competition.

Livingstone was bought by the Kings in the IPL Auction earlier this year to add to their all-out batting approach. In his opening 11 matches, he has hit 22 fours and 25 sixes.

The Englishman has also struck the longest six of the competition. It came against the Gujarat Titans and the ball went for 117 metres. Test international bowler Mohammed Shami was the victim. He looked in shock at how far the ball was hit from his bowling.

Although Livingstone was purchased for his skills with the bat, he has also chipped in with a useful three wickets and five catches. He is very much on the hunt for the IPL MVP Award this season.

As of the 8th May, Punjab are 40/1 in the IPL outright market, read more for the full odds and terms for the betting on the competition. If the Kings are to turn their season around, Livingstone is the player who they will need to continue to produce match-winning moments at the crease.

Kagiso Rabada

South African bowler Kagiso Rabada is another one of Punjab’s overseas players this season. He has shown his class with the ball, as he has taken 18 wickets from the 10 matches he has been involved in during the opening half of the campaign.

Rabada’s best figures to date were his 4/33 against Gujarat Titans. It helped his side prevail by eight wickets with 24 balls left, as he dismissed opener Wriddhiman Saha, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan and Lockie Ferguson. He was named the Man of the Match for his performance.

Only two players have picked up more wickets than Rabada in the opening half of the 2022 IPL. They are Yuzvendra Chahal and Wanindu Hasaranga. The former Delhi Capitals player is in his fifth season in the competition, and he continues to be one of the most effective bowlers signed to play the IPL.

The South African bowler will be a big player for his country at the 2022 T20 World Cup later this year. He is at the top of his game and Punjab are benefitting from having him on their roster.

Shikhar Dhawan

Vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan holds numerous records in his career, one of which being that he is the first player to score back-to-back centuries in the competition. The 36-year-old has hit 381 runs from his opening 11 matches this season. His highest innings is an unbeaten 88 against the Chennai Super Kings. He has received plaudits from former players and coaches in the game.

Dhawan has made three half centuries already in the 2022 campaign. The opener has recorded 40 fours and nine sixes, showcasing that he remains in great touch with the bat in this format of the game.

The India international is second in all the all-time IPL run-scorer standings behind Virat Kohli. With over 6, 000 runs to his name, the Kings batsman will have his eyes on ending his career as the leader in that list.

Dhawan will be one of the players that Punjab will be desperate to retain next season. He has often got them off to a fast start to their innings, which has given them a solid platform to build upon. He is getting no younger, however, we have seen other players have a lot of success in the IPL late into their 30s.

Whatever happens this season in the IPL, Punjab will be hoping to get off to a better start in what will be 16th edition of the T20 competition in India. There have been lots of positives, so if they can add more quality to their squad, they may not be far away from being title contenders.

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