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Shikhar Dhawan pleased with PBKS' bowling depth

Last updated on 01 Apr 2023 | 04:44 PM
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Shikhar Dhawan pleased with PBKS' bowling depth

PBKS got off the mark in IPL 2023 with a seven-run win over KKR in a rain-interrupted fixture in Mohali

Pleased after getting off to a winning start, Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper Shikhar Dhawan was pleased with his side's bowling performance and the depth in the department that helped them win their opening Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by seven runs on DLS method.

It was anybody's match until rain stopped play in Mohali with Venkatesh Iyer's wicket just before the rain came in proving to be pivotal. Arshdeep Singh was the pick of the bowlers for PBKS, finishing with 3 for 19 from his three overs.

"It's a great feeling to start the tournament with a win, we'll try to take the momentum in the next game and carry that confidence ahead," Dhawan said at the post-match presentation.

"According to the situation I used those bowlers, good thing we have got plenty of bowlers in the side. I knew [Sikandar] Raza was going to be handy against the left-handers, so he gave us three quality overs. Also have experienced bowlers like Sam Curran and Arshdeep [Singh] in the side. Wanted to be aggressive and at the same time smart."

Speaking of his batting approach in the game, Dhawan said he was looking to hold one end up, allowing the batter at the other end to go for his shots. That clearly paid off as PBKS finished with 191 for 5 from their 20 overs.

Dhawan scored 40 off 29 deliveries, but all his partners scored at a strike-rate in excess of 150.  "Was trying to hold one end, and if I got out, someone else would do that," Dhawan said.

"They are youngsters and they are learning. We all are living our dream and we should be happy about it. As a leader I make sure the team stays relaxed and in a happy state of mind."

Leading KKR for the first time, KKR skipper Nitish Rana rued the timing of the rain. Venkatesh, who came in as an impact player for Varun Chakravarthy, was dismissed just moments before the rain came in. Had he stayed on, KKR may have just PBKS on DLS method.

"Anything could've happened if the rain didn't arrive. Venkatesh got out unfortunately as we were trying to get ahead on DLS. The shot was on. Overall it was a good game. Plenty of learnings from it. It's only the first game of the season," Rana said.

KKR take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) next on Thursday (April 6), while PBKS to go toe-to-toe with Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Guwahati on Wednesday (April 5).

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