Punjab Kings (PBKS)’s stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal has said that the team decided to go in with a strong bowling line-up for Sunday’s match, considering Delhi Capitals (DC)’s batting prowess.
Despite regular captain KL Rahul being ruled out due to illness, PBKS did not bring in either Fabian Allen or Moises Henriques to strengthen their batting. But their weak middle order collapsed against DC as Mayank Agarwal played a lone hand with a brilliant 99 not out off 58 balls.
PBKS posted 166 for 6 on the board in Ahmedabad, a target that was chased down without much fuss by DC. Asked if PBKS would look to add some batting depth going forward, Mayank Agarwal said that it is something DC haven’t given a thought to yet. Responding to a query by Sportskeeda in this regard at a virtual press conference, Mayank Agarwal said:
“That’s something that we need to sit and think about going ahead. We thought, with Delhi’s batting, we needed firepower to get the wickets. That was the plan, and we back our bowlers to go out and do that for us.”
We got a decent total on the board, maybe just 10 runs short: Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal was also asked whether the team would look for a new opening partner for him (Chris Gayle or Dawid Malan), considering Rahul is likely to be out for the next few games. Prabhsimran Singh opened the batting with Mayank Agarwal on Sunday, but struggled for rhythm, managed only 12 off 16 balls.
Speaking about PBKS’ opening combination in KL Rahul’s absence, Mayank Agarwal said:
“That is something (Gayle/ Malan as opener) that we will have to speak about. For the moment, this is the strategy that we went with. I thought we got a decent total on the board, may be just ten runs short.”
Earlier, at the post-match press conference, Mayank Agarwal admitted that the middle overs with the bat hurt PBKS’ cause. The team lost Malan and Deepak Hooda in one over, which cost them a few runs. Mayank Agarwal said:
“One batsman has to bat through, that was my plan. It was my day, I took that responsibility. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too many in the middle overs, even though we finished well. Would have loved two points, more than anything else. But it is what it is.”
With Sunday’s loss, PBKS have slipped to sixth in the IPL 2021 points table, winning only three of their eight games thus far.