Kolkata Knight Rogers and the Punjab Kings will do battle at the I S Bindra cricket stadium in Mohali on Saturday, April 1, afternoon.
Punjab Kings are yet to win the IPL despite being part of the league since the start.
The franchise has gone through the ups and downs and have changed their name too, but call it luck or management, the team hasn't been able to cross the final line.
Stability has been an issue for the Kings. Furthermore, over the years, the Punjab side have lost matches from winning positions too many times.
Heading into yet another IPL season, Punjab will look to finish matches and will hope to at least make it to the playoffs. The Kings were dealt a big blow as Jonny Bairstow was ruled out of the upcoming season.
Kings will need their match-winners including Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Kagiso Rabada to shoulder the burden. Arshdeep Singh will aim to continue his good form with the ball, while veteran Shikhar Dhawan needs to lead the way with the bat.
Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Raj Bawa, Rahul Chahar, Sam Curran, Rishi Dhawan, Nathan Ellis, Harpreet Brar, Harpreet Singh, Vidwath Kaverappa, Liam Livingstone, Mohit Ratee, Prabhsimran Singh, Kagiso Rabada, M Shahrukh Khan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Shivam Singh, Matthew Short, Sikandar Raza, Atharva Taide.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The former champions were dealt a big blow with Skipper Shreyas Iyer being ruled out of the first half of the season. Nitish Rana has been named interim skipper as Iyer recovers from a back injury.
Despite missing Iyer, KKR have the arsenal to gun for their third IPL title.
Their biggest drawbacks this IPL will be missing key players due to injury. While Iyer attempts to make a comeback, there's a likelihood that KKR might miss their skipper for the entire season. A hamstring injury to Lockie Ferguson will mean the Knights will miss another key player.
With T20 power-hitters Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan in the line-up, KKR have the strength to go all the way. All-rounder Shardul Thakur could prove to be an interesting addition while the pace department has a lot of experience in Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav.
All eyes will be on how Coach Chandrakant Pandit, hugely successful in domestic cricket, fares in his debut IPL season.
Nitish Rana (captain), Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, N Jagadeesan, Kulwant Khejroliya, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, Sunil Narine, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Rinku Singh, Tim Southee, Suyash Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, David Wiese, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Lockie Ferguson.