Three weeks into the IPL, Punjab Kings find themselves struggling in the bottom half of the table, yet again.
While it is the Rajasthan Royals' (RR) weakened squad - as result of injuries and dropouts - that has accounted for most of their misfortune this season, teams such as Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are clearly underperforming.
Punjab had the deepest pockets in this year's auction, with which they added some big names to their roster. However, the choices they have made for their playing XI have surprised many. The new team name (they were earlier Kings XI Punjab), logo and jerseys have failed to bring them any luck either.
Currently, PBKS are sixth on the table, having won just two of their six games. There are a lot of things that are not going their way. We suggest three changes that could help them improve their results going forward.
3. KL Rahul's batting approach
Before the season started, the team management stated that their captain, KL Rahul, will be his attacking self in this year's IPL. However, after six games, the results have not borne witness to that claim.
Though the top run-getter of 2020 is in the running for another orange cap, Rahul's knocks have not had the desired impact. He has struggled to accelerate even after getting his eye in. Since Rahul's quick-fire 91 off 50 balls in Punjab's opening match of the season against Rajasthan, his strike-rate has not crossed 120 in any of the following games.
These are his scores in IPL 2021 so far:
- Match 1: 91(50) v RR
- Match 2: 5(7) v CSK
- Match 3: 61(51) v DC
- Match 4: 4(6) v SRH
- Match 5: 60(52) not out v MI
- Match 6: 19(20) v KKR
The two matches Punjab have won were against RR and MI, where he either played a quick knock or remained undismissed.
The wicketkeeper-batsman is the most important cog in the Punjab Kings machine and he needs to play with more freedom if the team hope to turn the tables and have any chance of going all the way.