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Dhawan Suffers His Shoulder Injury and Can’t Play For ‘at least seven’ Days

Punjab Kings coach Sanjay Bangar confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan has injured his shoulder. He might be sidelined for a week or more. If it’s a week, he could miss two IPL 2024 matches against Mumbai Indians (April 18) and Gujarat Titans (April 21), both at home in Mullanpur.

Bangar, in a press conference after the Kings’ recent loss to Rajasthan Royals in Mullanpur, initially mentioned that Dhawan might be out for “at least a couple of days” but later indicated it could be “at least days.”

“He’s dealing with a shoulder injury, so he’s likely to be out for a few days,” Bangar stated. “Having someone as experienced as Shikhar, especially on these types of pitches, is really important for the team.”

“We’ll have to wait and see how he responds to treatment. He might be out for at least seven to ten days.”

In Dhawan’s absence, Sam Curran went out for the toss for the Kings, causing some confusion since Jitesh Sharma had attended the captains’ conference in Chennai before the season started.

No, Jitesh wasn’t the official vice-captain,” clarified Bangar. “The confusion might have arisen because he attended the captains’ meeting at the beginning of the. However, the plan was always for Sam to lead the team; also, he led the team last yell. Sam arrived late from the UK and needed a few training sessions, so we couldn’t send him to Chennai. That’s why Jitesh attended; a player was required to be present.

“Jitesh wasn’t considered as the stand-in captain. We were clear that Sam Curran would step in and take over as captain if needed.”

Despite not having a standout performance with the bat in IPL 2024, Dhawan is the Kings’ top run-scorer with 152 runs from five innings, averaging 30.40 with a strike rate of 125.61. However, the Kings’ batting struggles at the top of the innings have contributed significantly to their lack of wins. They sit in eighth place on the table with four losses from six games.

Jonny Bairstow, Dhawan’s opening partner, has also struggled, scoring only 96 runs in six innings. Additionally, Prabhsimran Singh (119 runs in six innings) and Jitesh Sharma (106 runs in six innings) have faced challenges in finding consistency and making a notable impact.

On Saturday, when Dhawan couldn’t play, the Kings decided to give Atharva Taide a chance at the beginning of the game. He made 15 runs in 12 balls, and by the end of the first part of the game, Kings had 38 runs for the loss of 1 wicket. They ended up with a total of 147 runs for 8 wickets.

Bangar, the coach, expressed his worry that the main batters in the team aren’t scoring enough runs. He mentioned that they’re trying hard, but it’s not working for some reason. He also pointed out that the pitch at Mullanpur, where they played, tends to make scoring difficult because it takes work for the ball to bounce predictably. This seems to affect the Kings and the visiting teams’ top-order batters.

In the three games they played at Mullanpur, including this one, Bangar observed that the pitch behaves unpredictably in the first six overs when the ball is new. It tends to make the ball move strangely and bounce unevenly. This difficulty might be one reason why the Kings and the teams they play against struggle to score many runs early in the game.

Tags: India, ipl 2024, Shikhar Dhawan

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