In a dramatic game that went until the final over, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) defeated the Punjab Kings (PBKS) by 4 wickets. With this victory, RR stayed alive in the competition and are now placed fifth, while PBKS are currently ranked eighth in the IPL Points Table.
PBKS batted first at home and finished their 20 overs with a respectable total of 187/5. Initially, after being reduced to 50/4 in 6.3 overs, the hosts were in some trouble.
Sam Curran (49* runs off 31 balls), Shahrukh Khan (41* runs off 23 balls), and Jitesh Sharma (44 runs off 28 balls) all played crucial roles to propel their side to a 180-plus score. Navdeep Saini (4 - 0 - 40 - 3) and Adam Zampa (4 - 0 - 26 - 1) were the star performers with the ball for RR.
In response to PBKS's target, half-centuries by Yashasvi Jaiswal (50 runs off 36 balls) and Devdutt Padikkal (51 runs off 30 balls) gave RR a strong foundation. Shimron Hetmyer's and Riyan Parag's quick-fire cameos (46 runs off 28 balls and 20 runs off 12 balls, respectively) kept them in the hunt.
However, RR continued to lose wickets, which meant that the game went till the final over. In the end, it was Dhruv Jurel who kept his cool and sealed the game with a six for the visitors.
With the loss, PBKS officially bowed out of the playoff race of IPL 2023. The side had a mixed campaign, winning six out of their 14 games. While this season has thrown several positives at PBKS, some outstanding areas of concern have emerged for the franchise.
These concerns need to be addressed before next season if the side from Punjab want to put up a serious challenge for their maiden IPL title next season.
On that note, let us take a look at three reasons why PBKS got knocked out of the Tata IPL 2023.
#1 Overreliance on Shikhar Dhawan and Liam Livingstone
In the first half of the tournament, PBKS were heavily reliant on Shikhar Dhawan, and in the second half, the onus shifted onto Liam Livingstone to do the heavy lifting for the franchise.
In 11 matches this season, Dhawan struck 373 runs in 11 games at an average of 41.44 and a strike rate of 142.91. He was leading the Orange Cap race initially but got injured for a few games and then lost his touch.
Liam Livingstone, who joined the team midway through the tournament, struck 279 runs in just nine matches at an average of 34.88 and a strike rate of 163.15.
The fact that none of the PBKS batters featured in the Top 15 run-getters of the tournament hurt them greatly. Players like Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Matt Short, Sam Curran, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa produced flashes of brilliance throughout the tournament but were unable to pile up runs for the franchise consistently.
Prabhsimran Singh was impressive, but he too suffered from inconsistency, as he had an average of 25.57. Additionally, PBKS' inability to find a place for the in-form Sikandar Raza in numerous matches hurt their batting depth further.
#2 Bad show by the world-class PBKS pacers
PBKS boasted perhaps the best fast-bowling attack in the entire tournament. Consisting of the likes of Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, and Sam Curran, PBKS would have felt that they were almost assured of a good show by their fast bowlers.
However, barring the relatively inexperienced Nathan Ellis, all other PBKS bowlers had a disastrous season. Singh, who initially started the season well, was taken to the cleaners in the second half of the tournament and ended the competition with an economy rate of 9.69.
The most expensive buy in the history of the competition, Sam Curran, too, failed to live up to his bidding. In 14 matches, he picked up just 10 wickets at an expensive economy rate of 10.22. Rabada too had an uncharacteristic season as he picked up 7 wickets in 6 matches at an economy rate of 10.08.
#3 Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar failed to provide regular breakthroughs in the middle-overs
In 14 matches this year, Rahul Chahar picked up just 8 wickets. He bowled at a fine economy rate of 7.75. However, he failed to pick up enough wickets in the middle overs on pitches that assisted him.
This meant that the opposition went hard at the PBKS pacers in the death overs, which reflected in their economy rates throughout the season. Teams were willing to play off Chahar, knowing that he was the biggest threat on the turning tracks of India.
Harpreet Brar, too, had a reasonable economy rate of 8.02 in IPL 2023. However, he too failed to consistently provide his side with breakthroughs in the middle overs. In 13 matches, he picked up just nine wickets, including a 4-fer against DC. The failure of both of PBKS's lead spinners hurt their side badly.
With that, we complete our piece on the three reasons why PBKS got knocked out of the IPL 2023. Can you think of any other reasons? Let us know in the comments section below.