Key match stats
Pitch Stats – IS Bindra Stadium
Average first innings score: 165.6
Average first innings winning score: 178.9
Average powerplay score: 48.4
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd:42% / 57%
Team form PBKS vs KKR
Recent meetings: IPL 2022 - KKR won by 6 wickets
PBKS vs KKR Preview
Neither KKR or PBKS will look back at last season's IPL with much fondness but this is a fresh start and a chance to get an early win on the board.
KKR went off like a train at the beginning of the 2022 season before fading badly. I'm keen to see how their tactics will have evolved over the close season now that they have a new coach in Chadrakant Pandit at the helm. Pandit is renowned as a serial winner on the domestic circuit and KKR will be hoping that he can bring similar success to franchise cricket too.
The fact that KKR did most of their business before the auction with trades for Lockie Ferguson and Shardul Thakur suggests that the new leadership group has a definitive plan in mind.
However, KKR's preparations have been disrupted by the injury sustained by captain Shreyas Iyer during the 4th Test against Australia. Reports vary as to the extent of the back injury with some suggesting it'll require surgery which would probably rule Shreyas out of the whole tournament and others feeling that it might be a case of resting for the first few games.
Lockie Ferguson also looks set to miss out on the opening couple of matches with a hamstring injury while Bangladesh pair Shakib Al Hassan and Liton Das are playing with the national team in a T20 series against Ireland that won't finish until 29 March suggesting they won't be available in time for at least this fixture.
Things aren't much better for PBKS who have finally had confirmation that Jonny Bairstow will not be available for IPL 2023. Given the extent of his injury the chances were always slim to none of him playing in this tournament and as highlighted in my PBKS preview, the fact that they failed to bring in cover during the auction now leaves them scrambling around for a last minute replacement.
Fellow Englishman Liam Livingstone has been passed fit and given permission by the ECB to travel to India. The big hitting batsman has not played any cricket for 4 months since sustaining an injury on Test debut.
Meanwhile Kagiso Rabada is amongst 9 South African players who are set to miss at least their franchises' opening game with Cricket South Africa keen to have their top players available for a 2 match ODI series against the Netherlands that they must win to ensure automatic qualification for the World Cup.
|Stadium||Average powerplay score|
Top 3 highest average powerplay scores at stadiums to be used in IPL 2023
The game will be played at the IS Bindra stadium which has a reputation for sides being able to make fast starts in the powerplay. Punjab Kings had the highest average powerplay score in IPL 2022 (55.2 runs) but regularly lost early wickets including during the same fixture last season where they found themselves 62 for 3 at the end of the powerplay before KKR bowled them out for 137! Will they continue to pursue a similar tactic in IPL 2023?
PBKS vs KKR head to head
KKR bowling vs PBKS batting
With Lockie Ferguson likely to miss this match, KKR could well turn to fellow Kiwi Tim Southee who was one of the few bright points for Kolkata last season. He has a decent record at the IS Bindra having taken 3 wickets at an economy of under 8 in the 2 previous matches he's played here and he also has a very good head to head record against Shikhar Dhawan.
Tim Southee v Shikhar Dhawan T20 head to head stats
You get the feeling looking down this PBKS line-up that Dhawan is going to have to have a really big season if Punjab are to finally make it back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014. The middle order looks set to have some young, exciting but as yet unproven talent in it and they of course will be coming up against one of the most experienced T20 cricketers in the history of the game in Sunil Narine. Narine's record bowling at the IS Bindra Stadium is impressive as it tends to be at most venues he plays at.
Sunil Narine IPL records at the IS Bindra Stadium
Narine's economy rate last year was quite exceptional, going at just over 5.5 an over despite playing all of KKR's matches and bowling his full allotment in each one. He was only hit for a boundary every 14 balls which is over double the average for bowlers across the whole tournament. That being said, he did only take 9 wickets with most batsmen simply happy to see him off.
Will that tactic continue in IPL 2023? In recent times, Sam Curran is one of the few players who has targeted Narine as his record below demonstrates.
PBKS bowling vs KKR batting
Of course Curran has an equally big responsibility with ball in hand and did perform well for Punjab in his last stint here back in 2019. He has 7 wickets at an average of 21 and strike rate of 14 at the IS Bindra stadium.
Without Rabada, PBKS will go into the match heavily reliant on their 2 left-arm options in Curran and Arshdeep Singh to get the job done. That may favour a couple of the KKR batsmen not least of all Nitesh Rana whose record against right arm seam is fairly poor (average 22, strike rate 124) compared to his stats against left-armers shown below.
Nitesh Rana T20 record vs left-arm fast medium bowling
Rabada though may be glad to miss out on playing against Andre Russell who has generally taken the South African quick to the cleaners in previous meetings - Russell averages 70 with a S/R of 200 against Rabada.
In his place, PBKS may select Nathan Ellis who has a much better record against Russell albeit from a significantly smaller sample size. Ellis' tactic of taking pace off the ball and bowling it outside of Russell's arc has generally frustrated the big Jamaican as the highlights from the BBL and Hundred tournaments over the last couple of years show.
Nathan Ellis vs Andre Russell T20 head to head highlights
All stats used in this blog are from my own databases which are freely accessible below
IPL head to head player stats
IPL player stats by venue
IPL stadium statistics.
Images are my own with the exception of player profiles and background images which are used under a creative commons license or otherwise royalty free