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‘All batters are looking to strike at 170’

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PBKS have four wins in eight league matches of this season.

Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Punjab Kings (PBKS) have been average with their performances in the IPL 2022, and have only four wins in eight league matches so far. In their last outing, they maintained their composure to secure a victory against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Currently, they are up against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in their ninth league match of this season. Ahead of this fixture, former cricketers Niall O’Brien and Nikhil Chopra discussed the form of PBKS in the ongoing season.

Niall O’Brien thinks there is a lot of power in the team, but they haven’t clicked together, and Jonny Bairstow has been a major disappointment. He reckoned that bowling has been an area of concern for Punjab as they have been unable to take wickets in a consistent manner. O’Brien further added that, in the back of their mind, the batters have been under pressure to accelerate and score 20 runs extra due to the average performances from bowlers.

“The whole mantra from the auction was to get a lot of power in the batting department. You look at the likes of Rajapaksa, Bairstow, and Livingstone. But actually, Bairstow hasn’t clicked yet. Shikhar has been excellent, but I think their bowling has been the area of concern.

“They have got a couple of quality bowlers, but are worried about how many runs they can defend. On the other hand, the batters think they need to score 20 runs above par score to give enough to the bowlers,” said  Niall O’Brien on Sky247.net presents ‘Not Just Cricket’ Show on CricTracker.

‘They have just tried to hit the ball out of the Park’: Nikhil Chopra on Punjab Kings batters

Chopra is unimpressed with PBKS’ batters and felt that they have tried to hit every ball out of the park, irrespective of the pitch conditions, and what purchase it is offering to the bowlers. He thinks that the pitches are gradually getting slower, and the team need to change their mindset to score runs. Chopra added that the inclusion of Bhanuka Rajapaksa was needed in the team, as the batter was striking at a fine rate and helping the team to post a strong total on the board.

“All batters of PBKS are looking to strike at 170, thinking that we have a long batting line-up, and we can do it. But every pitch is not the same, and you can not hit from the very first ball. With the new ball, there is something for the bowlers as well,” said Nikhil Chopra.

“Like if the same pitches have been used for back-to-back matches, there is a wear and tear and it is somewhat slow. The batters are just trying to hit the ball out of the park, but they have done well to bring back Rajapaksa in the XI, who has been doing well with a fine strike rate,” he added.

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