Match Preview – Punjab Kings vs Titans, Indian Premier League 2022, 16th Match

On the one side is the muscle of Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith and Bhanuka Rajapaksa, on the other the precision and reliability of Mohammed Shami, Rashid Khan and Lockie Ferguson.

Welcome to Punjab Kings vs Gujarat Titans, a battle that could, even with more than three-fourths of the season still remaining, turn out to be the tastiest of this IPL – a proper T20 side full of big hitters against an attack boasting pace, seam, swing, spin and variations.

Kings boast the highest powerplay run rate of all teams this season – 10.94 – and Titans the best bowling average – 10.71 – and the second-best economy rate – 6.25 – in the same phase.

Titans are unbeaten after two matches, having won their first game while chasing and the second while defending a total. Both wins were both hard-fought, and they’ve found a different hero every time they’ve needed one so far.

Kings have endured a more eventful ride – they hunted down 206 with an over to spare against Royal Challengers Bangalore; then their ultra-aggressive batting approach came unstuck against Kolkata Knight Riders; and then they defended 181 Chennai Super Kings at the Brabourne Stadium, where they play Titans in their fourth fixture.

Friday’s clash, then, might pit the most fearsome hitting team in the league against its most incisive bowling attack. Who will come out of it unscathed?

A niggle restricted Varun Aaron to just one over in Titans’ last match against Delhi Capitals. In case he hasn’t recovered, the team could replace him with Darshan Nalkande, Yash Dayal or Pradeep Sangwan, the latter two of whom offer a left-arm option.

Punjab Kings: 1 Mayank Agarwal (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 4 Liam Livingstone, 5 Shahrukh Khan, 6 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 7 Odean Smith, 8 Arshdeep Singh, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Vaibhav Arora.

Gujarat Titans: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Matthew Wade (wk), 3 Vijay Shankar, 4 Abhinav Manohar, 5 Hardik Pandya (capt), 6 David Miller, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Varun Aaron/Yash Dayal/Darshan Nalkande/Pradeep Sangwan, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Mohammed Shami.