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Innovative approach yet same old story

Innovative approach yet same old story

Punjab Kings had multiple batters who are capable of power-hitting against both spin and pace in the Indian Premier League this year, yet they, as a unit, failed to live up to the expectations. With seven wins and as many defeats, the Mayank Agarwal-led side finished sixth on the points table.

Ahead of IPL 2022, many had predicted Punjab Kings (PBKS) as one of the serious title contenders. Their compliment was largely due to excellent overall buys at the last mega auction, where they acquired well-known names such as Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, and Rahul Chahar.

With Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh already in the mix, the Kings’ squad looked pretty decent before the actions began. They announced their rejuvenated arrival by chasing 206 in 19 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore, but from there on, all they had was inconsistency.

In fact, not for a single time in IPL 2022, the Kings managed to win two games on the trot. Eventually, they were short of just one win to get a place in the Playoffs and with that, for the eighth-successive time since 2014, they failed to advance beyond the league stage.

The Kings found very rare and very valuable players in Arshdeep and Bhanuka Rajapaksa. While Bhanuka accelerated rapidly from the very beginning to increase the scoring rates quickly, Arshdeep kept things in control in the death overs with his impeccable bowling accuracy. Livingstone, too, had a breakthrough IPL season this year, which was much required to take off the pressure from himself.

Let us discuss how the Kings’ fetched in IPL 2022:

Batting – B+

Despite playing with an ultra-aggressive approach, the Kings had a middling overall outing in IPL 2022 with bat. In 14 matches, they plundered 2,193 runs at a strike rate of 136.13, which was the season’s fifth-best record in terms of aggregated totals. They could not find a settled playing XI either even after 14 matches, which was a key factor for not getting enough success to rejoice.

The Kings’ top-run getters in IPL 2022:

Shikhar Dhawan | 14 innings | 460 Runs | 122.67 Strike Rate

Liam Livingstone | 14 innings | 437 Runs | 182.08 Strike Rate

Jonny Bairstow | 11 innings | 253 Runs | 144.57 Strike Rate

Jitesh Sharma | 10 innings | 234 Runs | 163.64 Strike Rate

Powerplay – A+

Despite having power-hitters around him, Dhawan went with an old-school approach at the top, taking time to play himself in. It worked decently as well, the Indian opener finished the season with a tally of 460 runs. It was instrumental for the Kings to have Powerplay overs in their favour more often than not.

With 724 runs from 14 games at 143.65, the Kings had the joint-best Powerplay record in IPL 2022, alongside Delhi Capitals (the statistics are taken prior to the final). Notably, they struck 32 sixes in this period, which has been the most by any side.

Death Overs – C+

This has been the area where the Kings need to find a solution. They are a top-heavy batting unit and do not have someone who can anchor the innings in the middle overs. Due to that, their designated finishers had to step up from the middle of many innings, which forced them to have lacklustre batting in the last five overs on numerous occasions.

Statistically, the Kings had the second-worst aggregated runs (523 in 14 games) in the death overs only above Kolkata Knights (503 in 12 matches), who batted two-match fewer than them. Moreover, their strike rate (149) during this period is the lowest of all, which tells us how much they had struggled to finish off things.

Punjab Kings Report Card for IPL 2022. © SportsCafe Graphics Team

Overall, the Kings did not have a remarkable bowling show in IPL 2022. They could only claim 83 wickets, the second-least among ten franchises, only a wicket more than Chennai Super Kings. Their combined economy rate (8.61) was not great either.

The Kings’ top wicket-takers in IPL 2022:

Kagiso Rabada | 48 Overs | 23 Wickets | 8.46 Economy Rate

Rahul Chahar | 46.4 Overs | 14 Wickets | 7.71 Economy Rate

Arshdeep Singh | 50 Overs | 10 Wickets | 7.70 Economy Rate

Liam Livingstone | 23 overs | 6 Wickets | 8.78 Economy Rate

Powerplay – A

22 scalps at an economy rate of 7.86: that is how the Kings bowlers fared in Powerplay overs this year. It was their third-joint best, while Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals, who sit at first and second respectively, played two matches more than them. Thus, in all, it was a decent campaign for them in the initial overs when there were field restrictions in place. 

The Kings’ bowlers failed to give the proper support Arshdeep required in the last five overs. Yet, they went for less than 10 runs an over (9.93), which, except for them, were achieved by only Gujarat Titans. However, they could only pick up 29 wickets in this period, which was the second-worst record in IPL 2022.

Captaincy – C

Mayank was lauded by many for his selfless act of promoting Bairstow to the top in place of his preferred role. However, with the bat in hand, he had a forgettable campaign this year. He could only muster 196 runs in 12 innings, that too at 122.50. He mostly batted at No. 4, but the way things went it seemed like that position was not an ideal one for him.

As a leader, it was Mayank’s first season as full-time captain. He surely learned a lot of things, but to be fair, the toss luck was not his favour in most cases. But what he could do with his reinforcements was to make themselves a stronger core. Yes, he failed to create a settled bunch this year, who can be reliable for at least the next two or three years.

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