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Debashis Sarangi ∙ Updated: May 8 2023, 7:23 PM | 2 Min Read

KKR vs PBKS: Bhanuka Rajapaksa Replaces Matthew Short as Punjab Kings Opt To Bat

image-lhewcag2PBKS will bat against KKR [Source:]

In a significant development, Punjab Kings won the toss and opted to bat first in their eleventh group-stage fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata. The Kings, who will aim at keeping their playoff hopes alive, have dropped Matthew Short from the playing XI, replacing him with Sri Lankan batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa

At toss, Punjab Kings skipper Shikhar Dhawan explained that they would bat first, considering the dryness of the surface, which he anticipated to slow down with the game's progression. 

"We will bat first and want to runs on the board. The wicket looks good. We have been scoring 200+ every time that's because of the impact player rules and good to get 200+ every time. We have one change today Bhanuka comes in for Matthew Short. The pitch looks a little dry and I feel it will get slower and lower as the game progresses. That is why I want us to put the runs on the board."   

On the contrary, KKR captain Nitish Rana hoped the surface to not change much, so that they could thrive with the bat in the latter half. He also revealed that they would've batted had won the toss.

" It looks like the wicket is on the drier side today. I hope that the wicket doesn't change much as we are chasing. We are going with the same team. Yeah, we were looking to bat first too, as in the later half our spinners come into play. If you put the runs on the board there is a bit of pressure on the opposition. Yeah, we have a good combination of left-handers and right-handers."

Punjab Kings (Playing XI): Prabhsimran Singh, Shikhar Dhawan (c), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sam Curran, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Rishi Dhawan, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh

Impact Players: Nathan Ellis, Sikandar Raza, Atharva Taide, Mohit Rathee, Matt Short

Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Suyash Sharma, Varun Chakravarthy

Kolkata Knight Riders: Anukul Roy, N Jagadeesan, Jason Roy, Lockie Ferguson, Kulwant Khejroliya