'We don't have......' - Shikhar Dhawan rues big void in PBKS squad as reason for KKR loss
After suffering a five-wicket defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday, Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper Shikhar Dhawan attributed the outcome to the absence of a quality off-spinner in the team. Dhawan identified this as the primary reason behind their lacklustre performance, given that they have now failed twice to defend stiff totals on the board.
The PBKS opener appeared visibly disheartened after his team's final ball loss, further noting that the pitch at Eden Gardens was not conducive for batting. He also commended Arshdeep Singh for his efforts in taking the match down to the final ball, despite having only six runs to defend in the last over.
KKR secured a much-needed victory, thanks to skipper Nitish Rana's half-century and impressive cameos from Andre Russell and Rinku Singh. The win has propelled KKR to fifth position on the points table, with five teams now tied at 10 points. Meanwhile, PBKS have slipped down to seventh place.
PBKS used three spinners in the match against KKR
During the match, PBKS utilized three spinners, including leg-spinners Rahul Chahar and Liam Livingstone, and left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar. However, off-spinner Sikandar Raza did not feature in the game. Chahar proved to be the most successful bowler for PBKS, taking two wickets and conceding only 23 runs in his four overs.
"I feel that we don't have a good off-spinner. When left-handers come, from one end we have a leg-spinner and at the other end, we have a left-arm spinner. So that's where I feel we are leaking a bit of runs. This wicket was offering turn as well so I feel that's where we took the hit,” Dhawan said during the post-match presentation ceremony.
In the first innings, Shikhar Dhawan scored a half-century for PBKS, and late cameos from Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, and Rishi Dhawan helped the team reach a total of 179/7. Varun Chakravarthy was the pick of the KKR bowlers, taking three wickets for 26 runs in his four overs.
PBKS, who currently occupy the seventh spot in the points table, will face Delhi Capitals on Saturday and again on May 17, before their last league match against Rajasthan Royals on May 19.