Punjab Kings (PBKS) captain Shikhar Dhawan forgot his fourth overseas player ahead of their first IPL 2023 game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Saturday, April 1.
The 37-year-old picked IPL 2023 costliest player Sam Curran (England), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), and Nathan Ellis (Australia) as his first three overseas players. However, the senior batter forgot Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza's name.
Speaking at the toss, Shikhar Dhawan said:
“We would have fielded first. Getting the impact player in the second innings can create more of an impact. Happy to bat as well. We have got a balanced side, so hopefully, we will do good. The team preparation has been good and we will look to dominate the game, hoping for a great season ahead. We are eager to win the trophy and I am looking to lead from the from."
“My overseas players are - Bhanuka, Nathan Ellis, and Sam Curran, don't remember the fourth name,” he continued.
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Interestingly, Sikander Raza received his debut cap in the presence of Dhawan and other PBKS players, coaches and support staff, ahead of the toss.
The 36-year-old all-rounder from Zimbabwe has played 172 T20s, scoring 3346 runs and scalping 87 wickets.
He was bought by the Punjab-based franchise for ₹50 lakh at the IPL 2023 mini-auction that took place in December last year.
KKR win the toss and opt to bowl against PBKS
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Nitish Rana, who took over the reins in place of the injured Shreyas Iyer, won the toss and opted to bowl first. The Knight Riders picked Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, and Tim Southee as four overseas cricketers
At the toss, Rana explained why he decided to field against PBKS. He said:
“We will bowl first, it has rained in the last two days so there would be some moisture. I am excited because very few people get this opportunity. It is a game of cricket so there is not much pressure. The impact players rule is in its initial stage. We have to see that the decisions we take prove to be right.”
PBKS vs KKR playing XI
Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prabhsimran Singh (w), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Nathan Ellis, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, and Arshdeep Singh.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (w), Mandeep Singh, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Anukul Roy, Umesh Yadav, and Varun Chakaravarthy.