File photo of Mayank Agarwal. Photograph:( AFP )
Mayank Agarwal won the captaincy race despite the presence of senior pro Shikhar Dhawan in the squad, who was bought by the 2014 runners-up in the IPL 2022 mega auction earlier this month.
Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Monday (February 28) appointed opener Mayank Agarwal as the franchise's captain ahead of the much-awaited IPL 2022 edition, set to be held in India from March 26. After much speculation, Mayank won the captaincy race despite the presence of senior pro Shikhar Dhawan in the squad, who was bought by the 2014 runners-up in the mega auction held earlier this month.
Mayank, who will now succeed his good friend and ex-Punjab opener KL Rahul as the captain, has been in the PBKS setup since IPL 2018 and had a wonderful run in the last two editions, amassing 424 runs at a whopping strike-rate of 156.45 in IPL 2020 and 441 runs, with 4 half-centuries, at a strike-rate of 140.44 in last year's season. He was the only capped player retained by the franchise ahead of the mega auction (for INR 140 million).
"I have been at Punjab Kings since 2018 and I take a lot of pride in representing this fantastic unit. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the team. I take over this responsibility with utmost sincerity, but at the same time, I believe my job would be made easier with the talent we have at the Punjab Kings squad this season. We have some vastly experienced players in our ranks, along with many talented youngsters who are keen to grab the opportunity and run with it. We have always taken to the field hoping to win the title and as a team we will once again work towards this goal of lifting our maiden IPL trophy. I thank the team management for entrusting me with this new role of leading the side. I look forward to the new season and the new challenges it brings with it,” said Mayank in a statement.
Anil Kumble, Head Coach, Punjab Kings said, “Mayank has been an integral part of the side since 2018 and of the leadership group for the last two years. The new squad we selected at the recently concluded auction has exciting young talent and outstanding experienced players. We want to create a strong foundation for the future with Mayank at the helm. He is hardworking, enthusiastic, a team player with all the attributes required of a leader. I look forward to working with him as captain and believe that he will lead this team to a successful campaign."
PBKS squad for IPL 2022
Mayank Agarwal (captain), Arshdeep Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Benny Howell