IPL 2022: Punjab Kings Captain Mayank Agarwal Reveals Strategy That Helped Counter Mumbai Young Gun | Cricket News


As Punjab Kings stepped out to bat in the Indian Premier League 2022 match against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, all eyes were on skipper Mayank Agarwal. With scores of 1, 4, and 5, in the previous three games, the PBKS opener knew he had to step up with the bat against the five-time IPL Champions to set up the platform for his team. The right-handed batsman showed his intent straightaway in the match, hitting Mumbai Indians pacer Basil Thampi for a boundary past point on the first ball of the match. It was just the beginning.

Mayank went on to maintain a strike rate of over 100 throughout his innings and then took the charge in the 97-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan. The right-handed batsman smashed 52 runs in 32 balls at a mammoth strike rate of 162.50 to help Punjab Kings take control in the match. His brilliant batting performance helped PBKS in posting a solid total of 198/5 in 20 overs, setting up a tricky target for the Mumbai Indians to chase at their home ground.

The target proved to be too high for MI to chase and they could only muster 186/9 in reply, losing the match by 12 runs. PBKS picked up their third win of the season, getting two points in the process and solidifying their position at the third spot in the IPL 2022 Points Table.

“I am very happy to have contributed to the team’s win,” Mayank, who was named the Player of the Match for his performance, said.

“We knew we needed to get off to a good start and then consolidate. I made sure that we keep the scoring rate high and tried to keep putting pressure on the opposition bowlers. I was happy that we were able to do that and put up a big score. Also, credit to our bowlers who bowled beautifully to defend the total and set up a big win for us against a very strong team,” he added.

Mayank’s intelligent captaincy also became a focal point as Punjab Kings went about defending the total against MI. He rotated his bowlers and set up the field smartly to ensure PBKS kept getting wickets at crucial intervals. At one stage, when Dewald Brevis and Tilak Varma were dealing in boundaries and stealing away the match, Mayank gave the ball to pacer Odean Smith, who managed to pick the prized wicket of Brevis for 49, and brought their side back into the contest.

Speaking on his leadership abilities, Mayank said, “I could feel that the two young players Brevis and Tilak were looking to hit big shots. We felt Smith could counter their intentions with slow, short balls, and that was the strategy that we went for.”

He added: “We knew we needed to bring in our main bowlers and get that wicket, and we did, and that set up the stage for us. Also, credit to Rahul Chahar for three economical overs after getting hit for runs in his first over.”

Mayank’s quick work on the field also helped Punjab Kings in the tight contest. In the 13th over, he picked up the ball at the mid-wicket and threw it quickly to the bowler’s end, when he saw a mix-up between Tilak Varma and Suryakumar Yadav in the middle. Arshdeep Singh took the bails off and Tilak Varma was dismissed for 36, turning the tide of the match completely in Punjab’s favor. The PBKS skipper also picked two catches in the match, showcasing his abilities on the field.

“We needed a wicket and the runout at that time was very crucial,” Mayank said. “We pulled the game back a bit there. It always feels good to get that crucial run out in the match and help out your team.”

Punjab Kings will next face off against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday in the afternoon game.

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