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Shikhar Dhawan's comeback on the cards

Source: PTI
April 25, 2024 19:25 IST
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Shikhar Dhawan

Photograph: Kind Courtesy BCCI

Punjab Kings skipper Shikhar Dhawan, who is nursing a shoulder injury, was ruled out of their Friday's IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders and the team is hoping for his return against Chennai Super Kings on May 1.

The 38-year-old last played against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9 and since then he missed three matches with Sam Curran stepping in as the captain.

PBKS spin bowling coach Sunil Joshi said Dhawan is on a recovery course and the left-hander could possibly make a return in their next game in Chennai.

"He was in form and we really missed his batting services. We saw him batting yesterday, going through the nets and everything," Joshi said on the eve of their match against KKR.

"He is on the road to recovery. Hopefully, he should be fit for the next game (against CSK)," he said.


PBKS have failed to fire as a batting unit and are ninth on the table with four points from eight matches.

Jitesh 'haunted'

Wicket-keeper batter Jitesh Sharma has been one of the biggest letdowns for PBKS in the on-going IPL.

From being in contention as one of India's first-choice wicketkeepers, Sharma has slowly gone off the radar with just 128 runs from eight innings at an average of 16.00 and a modest strike-rate of 125.49 in this IPL.

His highest score this season has been 29 and in three matches he has not been able to cross single digit.

Joshi blamed it on being "haunted" by the pressure of performing to meet the expectations.

"Jitesh is a quality batter and we all know that the time has come for him to fire tomorrow. And yes, of course, there are multiple players in the whole IPL.

"They are all eager to be in the T20 World Cup squad. But at times, most of the players are in that phase that (the thought of) making it to the Indian team will always keep haunting. So, it's about focusing on basic, right things."

Asked what's his message to Sharma, he said: "Finally, you got to perform. You got to look at one ball at a time, you can't look beyond. You're playing in IPL, you got to focus on match by match, ball by ball, rest leave it to the selectors."

Joshi further said the pressure would be on KKR to perform and win playing at home as they would look to "play freely".

"We've come out of home. The pressure should be on the home team now so we can play freely and get runs," he said. PTI TAP

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