PBKS’ IPL 2022 campaign has gone off-track. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori reckons that the Punjab Kings (PBKS) should stick to their strategy of batting aggressively from the start, despite the ploy backfiring in some IPL 2022 matches.
PBKS have lost three of their last four matches in IPL 2022. They were battered by the Delhi Capitals (DC) by nine wickets in their previous game as they crumbled to 115 all-out while batting first. Following the defeat, questions were raised over Punjab’s ultra-aggressive batting approach.
According to Vettori, though, Punjab need to stick to the attacking philosophy that brought them success at the start of the tournament. The Mayank Agarwal-led side will face the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Monday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Asked whether Punjab need to rein in their aggression with the willow, Vettori told ESPNcricinfo:
“No. It’s their style. It feels like they built the team at the auction wanting to be aggressive to complement the likes of Liam Livingstone in those middle stages. They’ve got to stay true to their identity and keep being aggressive.”
South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, however, offered an opposing view. According to the 43-year-old, Punjab cannot be reckless and lose many wickets in the powerplay. He opined:
“I think they need to change their batting plan. They need to be more careful not to lose too many wickets in the powerplay. They probably need to do that in one or two games and see if that works.”
Punjab have been abysmal with the bat in their last two IPL 2022 matches. Against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), they crumbled to 61 for 4 and, despite Liam Livingstone’s 33-ball 60, were bowled out for 151. In their game against Delhi, they slipped to 46 for 3 in the powerplay and could not recover from that point.
“Would like to see Odean Smith get another go” – Daniel Vettori on PBKS’ team combination
Against DC, Punjab dropped the inconsistent Odean Smith and brought in Nathan Ellis. The change meant PBKS’ batting order was weakened, with Kagiso Rabada batting at No. 7.
Asked if Punjab should go in for an extra batter against Chennai, Vettori said he would prefer the all-round skills of Smith. He explained:
“I would like to see Odean Smith get another go. He has the ability with bat at 7 or 8. He can be aggressive and take on the backend. Then, maybe, utilize him in a different way with his bowling strength.”
25-year-old Smith has claimed six wickets in as many matches at an economy rate of 11.86. Batting lower down the order, he has scored 51 runs at a strike rate of 115.90.