3 concerns for PBKS heading into the IPL 2023 auction

New Zealand v India - 3rd ODI
Shikhar Dhawan will captain the Punjab Kings in IPL 2023

The Punjab Kings (PBKS) will have ₹32.2 crore to spend at the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, which will be held in Kochi on Friday, December 23.

Having released Mayank Agarwal and Odean Smith among others, PBKS have freed up a significant amount of funds to bolster their roster without greatly affecting the composition of their playing XI. However, they most definitely have gaps to plug and aren't known to be the most astute franchise with the paddle in hand.

Here are three concerns for PBKS heading into the IPL 2023 auction.

#3 PBKS' Indian pace contingent is heavily dependent on Arshdeep Singh

New Zealand v India - 3rd ODI
New Zealand v India - 3rd ODI

PBKS released three Indian fast bowlers ahead of the IPL 2023 auction. Ishan Porel, Vaibhav Arora, and Sandeep Sharma were pushed into the auction pool, leaving very few options on the roster.

Arshdeep Singh, who has become a T20I regular for India, is the only undisputed starter right now. Also present is Baltej Singh, who has been decent in domestic cricket, apart from pace-bowling all-rounders Raj Bawa and Rishi Dhawan.

PBKS' Indian pace department is heavily dependent on Arshdeep, who will have to do most of the heavy lifting, especially at the death. Quality domestic fast bowlers are difficult to come by, and Trevor Bayliss and Co. might struggle in the IPL 2023 auction.

#2 The Kings basically have no reliable all-rounders

Pakistan v England - ICC Men's T20 World Cup: Final
Pakistan v England - ICC Men's T20 World Cup: Final

As mentioned earlier, Rishi Dhawan and Bawa are the two pace-bowling all-rounders on PBKS' books right now. In the spin department, they have Harpreet Brar and Liam Livingstone. It's safe to say that the Kings have basically no reliable all-rounders who can give them four overs and contribute with the bat in every game.

PBKS even released Prerak Mankad, who has been splendid in domestic cricket. Odean, of course, was on a lucrative contract and had to be let go. Nevertheless, Shikhar Dhawan will undoubtedly want at least a name or two in the all-rounder department who he can count on at all times. Speaking of the skipper...

#1 Shikhar Dhawan as captain might spell doom for PBKS

New Zealand v India - 3rd ODI
New Zealand v India - 3rd ODI

Mayank Agarwal was one of two players PBKS retained ahead of the IPL 2022 mega-auction. They even appointed him as skipper with an eye on the future. However, the move didn't go to plan.

Mayank struggled with the bat in hand as the Kings failed to qualify for the playoffs. He has since been released, with PBKS handing over the reins to Shikhar Dhawan. But surely that isn't the right way forward for the Kings!

Dhawan is 37 years old and doesn't represent Team India in T20Is. His game is limited in the shortest format and his IPL returns have steadily become less productive, even though he has managed to pile on a decent number of runs in each season.

The veteran's form could suffer a great dip in IPL 2023, and PBKS will not be able to devise a contingency plan for this in the auction.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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