Punjab Kings have an outstanding batting lineup: Wasim Jaffer

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

The Punjab Kings (PBKS) have started their IPL 2022 campaign on an average note, and have two wins in four league matches. In their fourth league match, they could not defend the total of 189 runs. They are currently facing Mumbai Indians (MI) in Match 23 of the tournament. The former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer discussed the performances of the PBKS team in the initial matches.

Wasim recalled his stint with PBKS in the previous two editions of the tournament and reckoned that the team’s head coach Anil Kumble has a likeness towards an aggressive brand of cricket, and wants the same from his players as well. He further pointed out that if the openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal, manage to provide a good start for the team, they have quality T20 players in the form of Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Jitesh Sharma, and Shahrukh Khan who can help them to post a strong total on the board.

“As I have been with Punjab Kings, I know Anil Kumble likes to play an aggressive brand of cricket, and this is what they have done in the tournament. If the openers, Dhawan and Mayank play out seven to eight overs and give them a solid start, then the batting to follow them is outstanding with the presence of Livingstone, Bairstow, Jitesh, and Shahrukh Khan,” said Wasim on Sky247.net presents ‘Not Just Cricket Show’ on CricTracker.

“I think Mayank Agarwal needs to come to the party. This year, he is trying too hard and needs to be himself. On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan also needs to come good, he has been an outstanding player. Otherwise, Livingstone is doing his job well. They are alright, and lost a close game, which they should have won,” Jaffer added.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa can replace Odean Smith for Punjab Kings: Wasim Jaffer

The former cricketer feels Odean Smith has not performed well in the tournament after his knock of 25* off 8 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He pressed on the fact that Odean has been giving away runs at an economy of 12, and has not been of much help to the team. Wasim chose Sri Lanka batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who has garnered 83 runs in the tournament, as Odean’s replacement. He further gave a suggestion to include Sandeep Sharma or Rishi Dhawan due to their proficiency with the ball.

“I feel if you drop Odean Smith, you can bring in Bhanuka Rajapaksa, which gives you a strong batting. But then you have to drop somebody for an Indian bowler. Either you can bring Sandeep Sharma or Rishi Dhawan (also an all-rounder), which can be a very good choice. Odean has not contributed consistently with the bat, and has been going almost 12 an over, which is too much for a foreign bowler,” Wasim concluded.

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