Shikhar Dhawan Down for the Count: Can Punjab Kings Survive Without Their Skipper?

Sudev Haldar
1 month ago

Shikhar Dhawan, the captain and opening batsman for the Punjab Kings, has been sidelined with a shoulder injury. This news comes as a major blow to the Kings, who are already struggling in the IPL 2024 season. Coach Sanjay Bangar initially estimated Dhawan would miss “at least a couple of days,” but later revised that to a more concerning “at least seven days.”

This extended absence could force the Kings to miss Dhawan for two crucial home matches – against Mumbai Indians (April 18) and Gujarat Titans (April 21). With their batting already under fire, can the Kings weather this storm and find a way to win without their leader?

Dhawan’s injury throws a wrench into the Kings’ plans. While his batting hasn’t been on fire this season, he still leads the team in runs scored. More importantly, his experience is invaluable, especially on familiar Mullanpur wickets known for their early challenges. But there’s more to this story – during the press conference, some confusion arose over the team’s leadership.

Who will lead the Kings in Dhawan’s Absence?

When Sam Curran, the English all-rounder, emerged for the toss in Dhawan’s absence, many eyebrows were raised. Jitesh Sharma, another player, had attended the captains’ conference earlier, leading some to believe he was the designated vice-captain. Bangar clarified that Curran was always intended to be the leader if needed, due to his prior experience captaining the Kings.

This episode highlights the importance of clear communication within a team, especially during unexpected situations. Now, the Kings must focus on the task at hand – winning matches without their skipper. Their top order, including Dhawan’s opening partner Jonny Bairstow, has been inconsistent. The experiment with Atharva Taide as a replacement opener yielded only 15 runs, leaving a big question mark hanging over the batting line-up.

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Can the Kings Find Their Batting Mojo?

Bangar acknowledged the top order’s struggles, pointing out the challenging nature of the Mullanpur pitch. However, low scores haven’t been exclusive to the Kings – other teams have also faced difficulties navigating the early swing and uneven bounce. Can the Kings find a way to adapt and overcome these challenges, or will their batting woes continue to plague them?

The question remains: Can the Punjab Kings survive without Shikhar Dhawan? What changes do they need to make to their batting line-up to succeed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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