"You can't just play big shots, need to respect the pitch" - Mohammad Kaif questions PBKS' approach against KKR in IPL 2022

Mohammad Kaif feels PBKS batters need to take more responsibility. (
Mohammad Kaif feels PBKS batters need to take more responsibility. (
Anuj Nitin Prabhu

Former Indian cricketer and cricket expert Mohammad Kaif believes the Punjab Kings (PBKS) will need to go back to the drawing board and rethink their approach while posting a total on the board.

PBKS were sensational in their opening game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, chasing down a mammoth target of 206 completely. However, the power-packed batting unit failed against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as they were bowled out for just 137.


Speaking to Sportskeeda on the show 'SK Straight Talk', Mohammad Kaif stressed the importance of having a mix of aggression and caution. He opined:

"Punjab Kings will take the learning that although they have power-hitters, the role of Shikhar and Mayank is really crucial. You can't just go and play big shots, you need to respect the pitch."

Mohammad Kaif also shed light on how important strike rotation and keeping wickets in hand are while setting a target. He added:

"When you bat first, the conditions are a bit dry and there are good bowlers who try to pick wickets in the powerplay. So there the par score is a bit less. If you plan of scoring 170 and if you keep wickets in hand, power-hitters like Shahrukh Khan and Odean Smith will take your score to 190. Don't just think of scoring 200 everytime because it is getting chased."
Felt like the Punjab Kings gameplan went as expected on paper, bowling attack didn’t hold up but they’re always in the game with that high octane batting unit - very little emphasis on wicket preservation however and that’s where opposing sides/conditions can perhaps break them.

Mohammad Kaif on Bhanuka Rajapaksa's explosiveness

Mohammad Kaif has been pleasantly surprised by the performance of Sri Lankan power-hitter Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the tournament so far. Rajapaksa played another blinder in the game against KKR, smashing 31 runs off just nine deliveries.

However, the 41-year-old feels that the southpaw needs to find a way to score big and not just perish after getting a good start. Kaif stated:

"He has definitely got the freedom to play his big shots. He is a good player but the fact that he would hit three sixes of three balls and would be so explosive is something that I didn't quite read. But if you know to hit sixes, you will also need to take singles and read the pitch and conditions."
Bhanuka Rajapaksa in #IPL2022 :-•43(22) in First match.•31(9) in second match.2 Innings, 74 Runs, 238.71 Strike Rate, 7 Sixes, 5 Fours.

Kaif also spoke about how important it is for Rajapaksa to pace his innings and not just play in one gear. He added:

"Any big player plays keeping in mind the conditions. You can't just keep on playing big shots. IPL is such a high-pressure tournament and you will find good bowlers too. He did hit three sixes but in the same over he was dismissed by Mavi. So this is a learning for him that he needs to pace his innings with singles-doubles too."

After a crushing defeat against KKR, PBKS will need to rethink their strategy of how they want to go about their batting, especially in the first innings. They still have a number of match-winners in their ranks and will be keen to get back to winning ways soon.

Edited by Parimal


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