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IPL 2023: Shikhar Dhawan must fire for Punjab Kings to rule

Left-handed opener did not get many runs in Punjab’s last match, but before that his scores read 40, 86 not out and 99 not out

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 15.04.23, 06:28 AM
Shikhar Dhawan.

Shikhar Dhawan. File photo

Lucknow Super Giants have not done many things wrong in this IPL so far and they would like to carry on with their good form on Saturday, when they face Punjab Kings in Lucknow.

Having already won three games, a win against Punjab will take Lucknow to the top of the points table. They will be the favourites on Saturday. In batting, Nicholas Pooran has been in roaring form for Lucknow, while Mark Wood has scorched the IPL with his fiery fast bowling. They have good spinners in Krunal Pandya, veteran Amit Mishra and the talented Ravi Bishnoi, while Marcus Stoinis is one of the top all-rounders in the trade.

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Is everything then perfect for Lucknow? No. Captain KL Rahul looks to be the weak link of this fine team. Rahul’s batting at the top of the order has hardly been inspiring and he has more or less escaped being under the scanner only because his team has been winning.

While Rahul has been struggling with the bat, his counterpart in the Punjab team, Shikhar Dhawan, has had an exceptional IPL so far. The left-handed opener did not get many runs in Punjab’s last match, but before that his scores read 40, 86 not out and 99 not out.

It is needless to say that Dhawan’s form with the bat will be crucial to Punjab’s chances against a strong team like Lucknow. Along with Prabhsimran Singh, if Dhawan can give his team a good start, Punjab, who had started the season with back-to-back wins, will be a tough team to beat. More so because they have an excellent bowling attack, which has Arshdeep Singh, Englishman Sam Curran and South African speedster Kagiso Rabada. Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar are not bad spinners either.

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