Aakash Chopra has lauded Rishi Dhawan for bowling a crucial wicket-taking spell during the Punjab Kings' (PBKS) massive win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Friday's (May 13) IPL 2022 encounter.
Dhawan registered figures of 2/36 in his four-over spell, with Faf du Plessis and Mahipal Lomror being his two victims. The two dismissals reduced RCB to a score of 40/3 in pursuit of a 210-run target and they eventually lost the match by 54 runs.
While reflecting on the Punjab Kings' bowling effort in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was all praise for Rishi Dhawan, saying:
"Rishi Dhawan - he hadn't got an opportunity to play since 2016. He got another chance to play in the IPL. He dismissed Faf du Plessis and Mahipal Lomror. In my opinion, the two wickets made it game, set and match. He is the weakest link in the bowling because you don't consider him the most important player in the bowling unit but when he does his job, it is praiseworthy."
The former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player also had words of praise for the other Punjab Kings bowlers and Mayank Agarwal's captaincy. Chopra explained:
"Rabada goes on to take three wickets in total, he was absolutely brilliant, he always is brilliant. Harpreet Brar was made to bowl at the start because his match-up is very good against Faf and Kohli. In fact, Mayank's captaincy was very good. He finished Harpreet Brar and Rishi Dhawan's overs in the first 12-13 overs and kept the main bowlers for the end, kept three overs for Arshdeep."
Every Punjab Kings bowler was amongst the wickets and did his jobs almost to perfection. While Kagiso Rabada (3/21) was the most successful bowler, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar and Dhawan kept the run flow in check apart from picking up wickets.
"That's a very beautiful thing" - Aakash Chopra on Liam Livingstone's batting position for Punjab Kings
While picking Jonny Bairstow's blistering knock as a game-defining performance, Aakash Chopra also lauded the Punjab Kings for batting Liam Livingstone up the order. He elaborated:
"Jonny was not alone. First Shikhar got out, then Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone comes to bat. That's a very beautiful thing. It is a discussion that when you buy a player for such a huge amount, why do you tag him as a finisher."
The renowned commentator concluded by stating that the Punjab Kings wouldn't have posted a mammoth total if Livingstone had been held back in the batting order. Chopra observed:
"We had asked for him to be given more balls. A wicket had fallen in the 11th over in the last match but Liam Livingstone did not come but here you sent him in the 7th over. 70 runs off 42 balls but you allowed him to play 42 balls, if you had not allowed, 70 would not have been scored and you wouldn't have scored these many runs."
Bairstow (66 off 29) and Livingstone (70 off 42) helped PBKS reach a massive score of 209/9 in their allotted 20 overs. Their bowlers then restricted RCB to 155/9 as Mayank Agarwal's side registered a convincing win.
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