3 areas where PBKS can do better next season

Punjab Kings (PBKS) enter the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 as one of the strongest contenders to finish in the top four. However, in the final week of the tournament period, their chances of qualifying for the IPL knockout were cut. With six wins and seven losses in 13 matches, they are in seventh place in the IPL scorecard. They also have a poor net run rate of -0.043.

To qualify, PBKS will have to win their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by a big margin and hope other results will go their way. Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have 14 points with a game in hand. If either of them win the last match of the tournament, Punjab will be automatically disqualified as they cannot reach 16 points.

IPL 2022: Where PBKS needs to improve

With their elimination from the IPL 2022 knockouts very likely, let’s take a look at three areas where the franchise can improve next season.

#1 Change the way the ball is rigid

Punjab Kings hitter Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit a big hit. Photo: IPLT20.COM
Punjab Kings hitter Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit a big hit. Photo: IPLT20.COM

Punjab has adopted a British cricket-like ‘play hard’ philosophy in hitting the ball. It worked but wasn’t stable enough to put them in a good spot on the scoreboard. The fact that they are gasping for air after 13 games is proof that they need to rethink their batting tactics.

Looking at their batting numbers in IPL 2022 after 13 matches shows that they have scored over 200 points in just two occasions. They scored their first in their opening game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), where they chased the number 206. The second case also happened with the same franchise. This time around, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone went wild as Punjab beat first and won the game with 54 runs.

However, in their next match against Delhi Capitals (DC), the same batting squad failed to chase the 160. This is pretty much the PBKS beat pattern in IPL 2022. No matter what they do. against Hyderabad in the final game of the season, Punjab will have to find some method to beat their madness before IPL 2023.

Click here to view orange cap in IPL 2022.

#2 There is a better balance in the XI in play

Punjab has a weak lower order. Photo: IPLT20.COM
Punjab has a weak lower order. Photo: IPLT20.COM

One of the main reasons behind Punjab’s inconsistent performance in IPL 2022 is the lack of balance in their play. While they hit the ball hard in the front and midfield, they lack utility players who can contribute with both club and ball. Bairstow, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Livingstone form a formidable top four. However, captain Mayank Agarwal had a forgettable season with Batman, which was a huge setback.

The real problem started then. Jitesh Sharma is a handy hitter, but number 6 is too high a position for him. Then there’s really nothing to do with batting talent. Harpreet Brar and Rishi Dhawan may have contested the willow but they haven’t made much of the chances they have.

In a nutshell, PBKS’s batting disaster was actually played with five hitters, as Agarwal barely made a significant contribution. You can’t expect to win a tournament with such a lop-sided XI.

#3 Be tactically clever

Liam Livingstone celebrates a wicket. Photo: IPLT20.COM
Liam Livingstone celebrates a wicket. Photo: IPLT20.COM

Punjab has also suffered as some of the tactical moves they made either didn’t make sense or came too late to benefit the IPL team. In previous matches, Odean Smith of the West Indies was almost used as a lottery with the ball. He was held back for the last time in the hope that other pitchers would give him enough runs to defend the last six balls.

The move backfired horribly in a game when Rahul Tewatia smashed the last two balls in six seconds. Smith received several wickets in the next game but the scheme was fraught with risk and Punjab had to give up.

In retrospect, the decision to push Bairstow into the middle in his first few games for the franchise hurt PBKS a lot. Even when it came to opening the scoring, the energetic Englishman became a completely different player. But by the time the decision is made, it may be a bit late.

Agarwal, or whoever captains the PBKS next season, will need to be smarter and have a lot better tactics.

https://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/ipl-2022-3-areas-pbks-can-better-next-season?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda 3 areas where PBKS can do better next season

Emma Bowman

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