Punjab Kings tracked down the 206-run target posted by Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening encounter but their bowling came under severe scanner, with nearly every player, barring Arshdeep Singh and Rahul Chahar, failing to stand up. The likes of Sandeep Sharma and Odean Smith alongside Harpreet Brar were taken to the cleaners by the RCB batters.
Russell Arnold, in an exclusive conversation with Cricket.com, however, was optimistic about Punjab’s prospects with the ball despite the mauling.
“If you are gonna back your batting and going to chase down 170-180 consistently, so what? Your batting needs to compensate for the lack of solid bowlers in the line-up. I think Punjab Kings have got it worked out. Odeon Smith had an ordinary day with the ball, but I have seen him bowl. As time goes on, he will get used to these conditions and the pace of the game. He will surprise a few of the oppositions as well. Don’t think we need to look at their bowling unit that way. It also comes down to combinations,” Arnold told Cricket.com.
Chahar gave away just 22 runs in lieu of one wicket in the opening game and was the brightest star for the 2014 finalists. Arnold believes that Chahar and Livingstone will be the key to Punjab’s success.
“Rahul Chahar has got a bit of a trick on his sleeves. Liam Livingstone is a clever operator. He bowls thinking like a batter. He will be useful too. Once you conceded 200-plus runs and you chase it down, you need to cut some slack for your bowlers. I am absolutely sure that Punjab can make amends and be a confident unit. With Rabada coming back, they can get a little bit off the pitch, they will be in a good situation."