Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Thursday that the Punjab Kings (PBKS) batting order looks highly dependent on their skipper Shikhar Dhawan and said that the rest of the batting line-up has to support their skipper if they want to go forward in the tournament.
The IPL 2023 on April 20 gets ready for a doubleheader on a weekday on Thursday and winning is very important for all four teams who are in action today. Punjab Kings – who are upbeat with the sensational two-wicket win over Lucknow Super Giants – return to their home ground in Mohali. The Shikhar Dhawan-led side takes on the Royal Challengers Bangalore side, which is being led by another in-form opener Faf du Plessis. RCB suffered a narrow 8-run defeat at the hands of CSK in a high-scoring thriller in their last game at home. Loaded with an in-form batting attack, RCB will be aiming for a big win to make a significant jump in the points table.
Speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live, Harbhajan Singh said, “The Punjab side seems is largely dependent on their captain Shikhar Dhawan in the batting department which is a concern. While depending on one player, you can win two or three matches but you cannot win a tournament like IPL. The rest of Punjab players will have to support their captain and take responsibility if they wish to go forward.”
Shikhar is in the fourth position in the race to Orange Cap for most runs in IPL 2023, having scored 233 runs in four matches at an average of 116.50. He has two fifties to his name, with the best score of 99*. His runs have come at a strike rate above 146.
The second game of the day will see a beleaguered Delhi Capitals taking on Kolkata Knight Riders in the evening at Arun Jaitely Stadium.
David Warner-led Delhi franchise is still searching for its first win of the season while Kolkata Knight Riders – who are being led by Delhi-boy Nitish Rana – are coming on a back to two consecutive defeats. In their previous game against Mumbai Indians, KKR saw history being created for them as Venkatesh Iyer slammed the first IPL century for the franchise in 15 years, after Brendon McCullum.
Although his superlative knock went in vain as KKR ended up on the losing side, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh lavished praise on Iyer for playing a memorable knock. The Turbanator even said that the left-handed batter from Madhya Pradesh could be an example to top-order batters like David Warner and KL Rahul – who are struggling to accelerate their innings in IPL 2023.
Harbhajan said, “Venkatesh Iyer is a special player and proved that with his maiden IPL century. Batters like David Warner and KL Rahul should learn a couple of things from their innings. Iyer did not just strengthen his team after the fall of an early wicket but also scored runs with a strike rate of more than 200.”
Venkatesh is in the third position in the batting charts, having scored 234 runs in five matches at an average of 46.80 and a strike rate of 170.80, with a century and a fifty. His best individual score is 104. (ANI)