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Punjab Kings IPL 2023 campaign opener against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, April 1, is under threat due to gloomy weather conditions in Mohali. Punjab Kings’ return to the IS Bindra Stadium after a hiatus of three seasons is expected to be interrupted by rain with a forecast of 80 per cent precipitation in the weather report.
Following a hard-fought contest between reigning champions Gujarat Giants and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2023 season opener, fans are expecting another high-voltage clash between Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. However, rain could play spoilsport on the day.
A new-look Punjab outfit, led by veteran Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan will be hoping that rain stays away for their clash against Kolkata. After an underwhelming season in last year’s tournament, Punjab let go of former head coach Anil Kumble and even sacked Mayank Aggarwal as the skipper of the side.
They broke the bank for the services of England’s World Cup-winning all-rounder Sam Curran, making him the most expensive cricketer in the history of the competition. Punjab have failed to make the playoffs in each of their last eight seasons and will hope that World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss could alter their fortunes this time around.
Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, were struck a severe blow after skipper Shreyas Iyer’s injury, forced them to name Nitish Rana as the interim captain for IPL 2023. Like their opponents, Knight Riders also made changes in their coaching staff as they named Indian domestic cricket’s cult figure, Chadrakant Pandit, as the head coach.
The pitch in Mohali is expected to be a belter of a surface, and fans can expect a high-scoring affair if rain gods permit. Both sides will be taking the field under a new captain for the first time this season and will be hoping to put their best put forward in the 16th edition of the tournament.