Punjab Kings upset the Ravindra Jadeja-led Chennai Super Kings in a dramatic finale at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday, handing them their sixth defeat of the IPL 2022 season.
The Super Kings were limited to 176/6 in 20 overs when chasing a 188-run mark, despite a brave effort by senior hitter Ambati Rayudu (78 off 39 balls). To improve their chances of qualifying for the 2022 Indian Premier League playoffs, CSK must win all of their remaining games.
While several players have appeared in the team’s eight games thus far, Rajvardhan Hangargekar is yet to make his debut with the franchise. Hangargekar was selected by the Super Kings for INR 1.5 crore in the big auction leading up to the competition, and many expected him to play a part for the club this season.
Stephen Fleming, the team’s head coach, has spoken out against Hangargekar’s frequent absences from the starting XI this season, saying that they must be “very careful” with the youthful talent.
“You have to be very careful. I know he’s (Rajvardhan) performed at the Under-19 level but this is a step up. We’re very conscious of the skills that he needs to perform. We don’t wanna just throw him in and damage him. We want to make sure we realise the potential that he’s got.” Fleming said, as quoted by the official website of CSK.
Fleming went on to praise the kid, who made an impression during India’s successful U-19 World Cup campaign earlier this year, saying that he had participated in some “big games,” alluding to the global competition.
“He’s on an excellent program with us. He’s played some big games already. If the opportunity arises this year, we’ll put him in. Pace is one thing, how to use it and bowl on the big stage is very important. We’re not gonna mess around with a talent like him,” said the former New Zealand captain.
(With HindustanTimes inputs)