The Punjab Kings faced a nine-wicket loss against the Delhi Capitals at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday, April 20. Put in to bat, the Kings could only manage 115 runs in 20 overs which DC chased down with nine wickets and 57 deliveries left.
On this tough night, captain Mayank Agarwal spoke at the presentation ceremony about the team not having enough runs on board. But he also said that it was important for the team to move on from this day to look ahead at better things in the tournament.
“It's a tough one, a day to forget for us, best to move on and not think too much into the game. We didn't bat and bowl well, we just need to move on from today. We have been losing too many wickets too early, that's a concern. A total of around 180 could have been competitive. In hindsight, I could have given a couple of overs early for the spinners, but I didn't do so”, Agarwal said.
Jitesh Sharma, who top-scored for the team with 32 (23), shared his thoughts on the game in a post-match press conference. Below are some excerpts from the same.
On fluctuating form with the bat
The batters have clicked together often, but not consistently enough for the team to rely on it. Sharma shared his thoughts on this. “Basically, we’ve been told to have an attacking approach for this tournament. Maybe we are not able to apply this very well as per the situation,” he opined.
“Some days we are able to apply it well, some days we can’t. We are trying our best to give it our everything on the field so we can gain momentum and carry it ahead,” Sharma said.
On every match being crucial
Halfway through the tournament, the Punjab Kings have three wins and four losses in seven games, and every encounter now will be crucial for the team. The way forward will be winning as many games as possible, and Sharma opens up about the meetings the management has had about this.
“As you can see, every batter in our line-up is a potential matchwinner. We only need a player or two to click every game. We have given ourselves the time to settle down once we get in to bat, hit the ball well and gain back our confidence,” Sharma clarified.
On getting a chance to play with Punjab Kings
Sharma made his Tata IPL debut with the Punjab Kings. He shared his feelings on getting opportunities here and what it feels like to be in this team. “I am very lucky that Anil (Kumble) Sir saw me in the trials and picked me for PBKS. Since I played a lot of domestic matches this year, I was in good touch and I was trying to replicate the same,” Sharma said.
He is, however, aware of the long road ahead for him. “I am not up to the mark yet, I think, because I can actually finish these games. For instance, today, I could have played longer. So domestic cricket is helping me a lot along with the practice sessions. I want to play the role they have given me in the team,” Sharma clarified.
PBKS will be going back to the drawing board to strategize for the upcoming games. Next, the team will face Chennai Super Kings, against whom PBKS had a positive result less than three weeks ago, hoping to gain some foothold in the group stage.