Punjab Kings batting coach Wasim Jaffer has been left frustrated with the performance of his bowlers, saying they “didn’t live up to the expectations” this IPL season.
The Punjab franchise began their campaign promising a lot but ended up making an early exit, winning just six of the 14 matches they played.
The former India cricketer’s dissatisfaction with the bowlers’ performance came to the fore following a four-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals here on Friday, which ended PBKS’ slim hopes of making it to the playoffs despite having a potent bowling attack, including Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada and Sam Curran.
“The kind of bowling attack we had, especially the fast bowlers and even spinners, we should have bowled better in certain conditions. We didn’t live up to the expectations as a bowling unit,” said Jaffer during the post-match press conference.
Jaffer said he had great expectations from the squad PBKS but unfortunately it “underperformed”.
“It’s a disappointing season, without a doubt. With the kind of squad that we had, I think we needed to be in the top half of the table . I think we have definitely underperformed.” One of the key reasons Jaffer pointed out was the inability of the batters and bowlers to perform as a unit, especially in close games, all through the season.
“We should have won a couple of tight games but, as I said earlier also, the batting and bowling haven’t clicked together, so that was the case throughout (the season).
“Bowling sometimes let us down, initially the batting wasn’t clicking. So it hasn’t clicked together, if I want to put it simply. I do not want to get into the nitty-gritty but we have not played that perfect game apart from that Delhi (Capitals) game where we won by 30-odd runs. Every game was a tight one, whether we won or lost.” Jaffer indicated he wasn’t really happy with the Mohali wicket, which he said was batting-friendly.
“Even though we play in Mohali (home ground), which has a batting-friendly condition, it’s tough for the bowlers without a doubt,” said Jaffer.
The 45-year-old, who played 31 Tests, also expressed his disappointment with Australian top-order batter Matthew Short, who played six games but managed to score just 117, averaging 19.5.
“We played Matthew Short thinking that the (Mohali) wicket will suit him. Like I said, Mohali is one of the better wickets similar to where he plays in Australia. But he didn’t get going. Then we played (Sikandar) Raza.” He also said the injuries to key batters, especially England’s Liam Livingstone and skipper Shikhar Dhawan, played a big role in upsetting the team’s game plan.
“Considering the situation there was, Livi (Livingstone) wasn’t there at the start (due to injury) and when Levi came in, we though we needed to go top heavy. And, then, Shikhar got injured. So, we had to play Short because we were missing one player there (at the top). We need to put an opener there. So those were the circumstances,” said Jaffer.
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