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Too little too late, as Prabhsimran Singh finally comes good for PBKS

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Last updated on 19 May 2024 | 12:27 PM
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Too little too late, as Prabhsimran Singh finally comes good for PBKS

The PBKS opener slammed a useful 71 to set up a handy platform for his side

Punjab Kings (PBKS) may have had a season to forget, but they are certainly ensuring that they end it on a high note. Against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the previous game, they put on an all-round performance and eased to a five-wicket victory. Coming against a team that have been consistent for the larger part of the season is something that PBKS would have taken a lot of heart from.

Leading into today's (May 19) game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), like the game against RR, they had nothing to play for but pride. PBKS may have unearthed some superstars in Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, but a lot would have been expected from Prabhsimran Singh, especially after he showed glimpses of what he is capable of last season, where he hit 358 runs at a strike rate over 150. 

His knock also included a superb century against Delhi Capitals (DC) last year. He followed that up with a superb campaign in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2023-24, contributing 255 runs (SR 145) in Punjab’s triumphant season.

The platform was set for him to have a memorable IPL 2024 season. Everything indicated that the 23-year-old would follow up his breakthrough season with a noteworthy season. 

However, it was a struggle. A big one. 

Before today’s game, Prabhsimran Singh had gone nine innings without touching 30. However, in his last six innings, including against SRH, he has hit 30 or more on three occasions, and in two of them, he has converted into a fifty. 

He once again looked in the zone. He took on the fast bowler in the powerplay with utmost ease – driving, cutting, dancing down the track and going inside out. Anything the quicks threw at him, he was up to the task. That’s something he did last season in the powerplay – just clearing the in-field if he couldn’t muscle the ball over the fence. 

Worst case, he still scored a boundary. 

From a powerplay point of view, 2024 has been a far superior season for him. 

However, his game against the spinners has gone down drastically, an area where he should look to improve next season. 

Most of his dismissals against spinners have come when the ball has pitched in the good length area, mostly hitting the wickets. This season, Prabhsimran has struck at 127 against spinners when the ball was pitched in that good length area (4-6m). 

While one might argue that this has been a poor season for PBKS, Prabhsimran is the second-highest run-getter this season, with 334 runs at a strike rate of 156.80. However, his average of just 23.85 is something he would have wanted to improve on. While there was no doubt over his ability to score quickly, the fact that he did not get a decent score under his belt in most innings cost his side. 

His 45-ball 71 has no doubt given PBKS a reason to smile, but as far as this season is concerned, it is a case of too little, too late.

At 23, Prabhsimran is a useful commodity for any franchise. He can keep wickets, open the batting play an attacking brand of cricket that is required in the first six. PBKS have certainly backed him over the years, but will he be with the franchise the following season? 

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