Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Punjab Kings, Gujarat Titans look to resurrect campaigns


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Mullanpur, April 20: Their campaigns wobbling after a string of defeats, bottom-rung teams Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans will be desperate to arrest the slide and get back to winning ways in their Indian Premier League match here on Sunday.
Former champions GT have slipped to eighth position in the pecking order after an embarrassing loss to Delhi Capitals at home, where they were bowled out for 89 to suffer their third defeat in four matches.PBKS are struggling in the ninth place following a nine-run loss to Mumbai Indians away on Thursday night, the margin of defeat made respectable by an incredible rearguard act by the in-form young duo of Ashutosh Sharma and Shashank Singh after the team was tottering at 14/4 in a chase of 193.Five losses and two wins in seven outings hardly inspire confidence and irrespective of the fact that their upcoming opponents are also struggling to get their act right, PBKS will have their task cut out in front of their fans, who had little to cheer about so far this season at the newly-inaugurated home venue.The absence of their influential skipper Shikhar Dhawan in the last few matches has hit PBKS hard and doubts remain over the southpaw’s availability for Sunday’s fixture.Dhawan has been undergoing rehabilitation since picking up a shoulder injury during the home fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9, resulting in England all-rounder Sam Curran to fill in as the skipper.
While Dhawan hasn’t had a great time with the bat in IPL 2024, scoring 152 runs from five innings at a strike rate of 125.61, his presence at the top of the order as well as in the field matters for a side that seems to have forgotten how to win matches.
Having finished eighth in the last edition following eight losses and six victories, the story hasn’t changed for PBKS, whose biggest concern has been the failure of their specialist batters.
The likes of Prabhsimran Singh, Liam Livingstone and Rilee Rossouw have failed to live up to the expectations, something that has affected the team badly.The only silver lining for PBKS this season has been resolute displays from their unsung Indian players Shashank and Ashutosh, who both bat lower in the order and have had to make up for the shortcomings at the top on more than one occasion.
Match starts at 7.30 PM. (PTI)


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