Saturday, May 18, 2024

Rebuilt teams PBKS and KKR vie for a winning start

Seasoned pro: Dhawan leads Punjab Kings’ training session.

Seasoned pro: Dhawan leads Punjab Kings’ training session.
| Photo Credit: R.V. MOORTHY

Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders carry the same predicament and trepidation and it will be a battle of nerves when the two sides square off in their opening IPL match at the I.S. Bindra Stadium here on Saturday.

With both sides going through an overhaul with new captains, new backroom staff and forced changes due to injuries, the similarities are striking. However, both the teams are keen to start the season on a high. Kings have been the perennial underachievers and their record against Knight Riders is not glittering either.

No-holds barred

Last season, Kings played a high-risk, no-holds-barred attacking batting without desired result.

This season, Kings, under coach Trevor Bayliss, will approach the games pragmatically. “We will try to keep things as simple as possible and will not to complicate it,” said Bayliss.

Nitish Rana has warmed up to his captaincy role. The Delhi batter said Shreyas Iyer’s absence was a big blow and the team has regrouped under Chandrakant Pandit.

“IPL is like a marathon but the first match sets the trend and we want to win,” said Rana.

The teams skipped practice due to inclement weather and with forecast for more rains, it could be a dampener.

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