Former Indian cricketer and cricket expert Mohammad Kaif said that the Punjab Kings (PBKS) will need to rethink their approach while posting a total on the board next. However, they did well in their opening game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, chasing down a mammoth target of 206 but they failed while batting against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as they were bowled out for just 137 as well.
Speaking to Sportskeeda on the show ‘SK Straight Talk’, Mohammad Kaif said: “Punjab Kings will take the learning that although they have power-hitters, the role of Shikhar and Mayank is really crucial. You can’t just go and play big shots, you need to respect the pitch.”
“When you bat first, the conditions are a bit dry and there are good bowlers who try to pick wickets in the powerplay. So there the par score is a bit less. If you plan of scoring 170 and if you keep wickets in hand, power-hitters like Shahrukh Khan and Odean Smith will take your score to 190. Don’t just think of scoring 200 everytime because it is getting chased,” he again shared.
However, Mohammad Kaif was impressed by the performance of Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the tournament so far. Rajapaksa played another great knock against KKR, smashing 31 runs off just nine deliveries. He also opined how important it is for Rajapaksa to pace his innings and play big knocks for his side.
“He has definitely got the freedom to play his big shots. He is a good player but the fact that he would hit three sixes of three balls and would be so explosive is something that I didn’t quite read. But if you know to hit sixes, you will also need to take singles and read the pitch and conditions. Any big player plays keeping in mind the conditions. You can’t just keep on playing big shots. IPL is such a high-pressure tournament and you will find good bowlers too. He did hit three sixes but in the same over he was dismissed by Mavi. So this is a learning for him that he needs to pace his innings with singles-doubles too,” Mohammad Kaif concluded.