IPL 2023: Wasim Jaffer backs PBKS bowlers to come back strong after drubbing by LSG

The likes of Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Mayers, Ayush Badoni and Nicholas Pooran pummelled the Punjab bowlers into submission as LSG piled up 257 for 5 – second highest total in IPL history.

Jaffer believes his team’s bowlers will bounce back after they were taken to the cleaners by the LSG batters, adding that it “was one of those days when everything clicked for the opposition.”

“Today was one of those days when everything clicked for the opposition and we were a bit clueless. Our bowlers will come back strong,” Jaffer said after his team’s 56-run loss.

“Our bowling couldn’t perform. They started off well in powerplay and just took off, they didn’t stop, every one played… Badoni, Stoinis, Pooran. When someone plays like this, it’s very difficult, they didn’t lose momentum after the powerplay. As I said, It was an off day for our bowling.”

Punjab’s leading pacers Kagiso Rabada (2/52), Arshdeep Singh (1/54) and Sam Curran (1/38) conceded 144 runs between them across 11 overs, while Rahul Chahar was the lone bowler to concede under 8 runs per over.

The former India batter feels there is no need to press the panic button just yet. He, however, admitted that the bowlers could have approached the situation differently by making use of the longer boundaries.

“It’s not a serious concern. Before this our bowling has defended in serious conditions. The bowling unit has performed better. Today was an off day. Maybe we could have used a Plan B, like using the slower balls a lot more and using the longer boundary consistently,” Jaffer said.

Despite a mammoth total to chase, Punjab did not shuffle their batting line up to promote the big hitters of the side. And Jaffer also had his say on that matter.

“Our top-three is a fix and (Atharva) Taide is someone who always does well in the powerplay. We also wanted to maintain a left-right combination throughout. Also, someone like (Liam) Livingstone hadn’t played a lot of cricket, (Sikandar) Raza had done well for us and that’s why he was promoted,” Jaffer said.

“We thought that if we can get closer to the total, we have the power of Livingstone and Curran. As for Jitesh (Sharma) and Shahrukh (Khan), their roles are for the final five overs. Everyone did their best but it’s just unfortunate that we fell short by 56 runs.”

Having won the toss, Punjab skipper Shikhar Dhawan had decided to bowl first, a decision Jaffer backed adding that the decision to chase has been a trend in the IPL.

“It is a trend for IPL sides to opt for chasing after winning the toss. Dew was obviously a factor too. We had seen it during practice and that was a reason as well,” Jaffer added.

“But when the opposition gets to 257, it’s always tough to chase. They got a fast start in the powerplay and never slowed down at any stage. You have to give them credit.”

Punjab Kings will have a quick turnaround as they travel to Chennai to face Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in the first match of Sunday’s double header.

(With PTI inputs)

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