Just Another Season For Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings once again finished at sixth place in the IPL points table.
Punjab Kings once again got knocked out of IPL without making it to the playoffs. The last time they did was back in 2014. Since then, the best finish they have got is 5th place in IPL 2017. Since 2019, Punjab have finished in 6th place in four consecutive seasons.
PBKS made several changes in the IPL 2022 auction, including completely changing the approach. The new Punjab decided to go for an all-out batting attack which, in theory, will win them more games. It was a good enough approach but 14 games is a very small set to apply such an approach especially when you haven't played with the team before this. And that's exactly what happened.
PBKS built a pace-hitting squad with the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, and Mayank Agarwal in the lineup. They got Shikhar Dhawan to play the run anchor role and brought Bhanuka Rajapaksa as a spin hitter.
Even though they brought this lineup together along with support players in the form of Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, and Odean Smith, they didn't know what to do with them.
Bairstow began as a number four and finished the season as an opener while Mayank opened in the beginning and shifted to the middle order. Dhawan did his job of accumulating runs from one end as he scored 460 runs at an average of 38.33 but with a strike rate of 122.66.
Bairstow didn't contribute much in the first half of the innings and only scored runs in the last three games. Mayank neither scored as an opener nor as a middle-order bat. Shahrukh Khan and Odean got benched after a few games.
Liam Livingstone and Jitesh Sharma did exactly what they were expected to do but it wasn't enough for Punjab to dominate. Livingstone scored 437 runs at a strike rate of 182.08 and averaged 36.41. Jitesh was used as a lower-order finisher and ended up scoring 234 runs at a strike rate of 163.63 in just 10 innings.
One of the major reasons why Punjab's batting failed was because of no spin-hitting batter. They hoped for Bhanuka to attack spin but he was the only supposed spin hitter which as expected didn't come off.
Punjab Kings vs Pace: SR - 149.67, Avg- 25.4, RR - 9.69. They have the highest strike rate and run rate among all the teams in the league stage.
Punjab Kings vs Spin: SR - 108.22, Avg - 20.03, RR - 6.89. They have the lowest strike rate, lowest average, and lowest run rate among all the teams in the league stage.
Punjab kept looking to hit each and every delivery out of the park without having players to do so hoping the law of averages will come in favor of them.
Due to the batting heavy approach, they didn't have solid bowlers. Yes, Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada turned out to be a great pair in the slog overs but the rest of the bowlers weren't up to the mark. Rahul Chahar was the sole specialist spinner but couldn't pick the wickets he was expected.
Punjab Kings finished sixth in the league stage but one thing is for sure, their approach looks modern and refreshing in comparison to the last few seasons. What PBKS will need to do is bring in some spin power hitters and a fourth & fifth bowler, who knows the law of averages finally make them qualify next season.
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