Punjab Kings opener Shikhar Dhawan plays a pull shot during his unbeaten 88 against Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League 2022 match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Image Credit: ANI

Mumbai: Punjab Kings seem to have learnt a lesson from their defeat in the previous game against Delhi Capitals on April 20, where their ultra-aggressive approach let them down big time.

On Monday, Shikhar Dhawan, who made just nine in the nine-wicket thrashing by Delhi Capitals, took his time to establish himself at the crease before unleashing a flurry of strokes as he ended up making a 59-ball 88, which proved decisive in the end and helped Punjab return with a vengeance to beat Chennai Super Kings by 11 runs.

The ultra-attacking approach in the previous game had been massively criticised as Kings had folded up for 115, but on Monday they put on an imposing 187 at the Wankhede.

Staying calm early

Dhawan said he focused on the process after the debacle against Delhi, adding that staying calm early on proved decisive.

“The process, I always talk about it, I focus on it. About my fitness, my approach — I keep working on those skills. Results will take care of itself. The wicket was stopping a bit (like the previous game against Capitals), I tried to go for the big shots, but I couldn’t connect. But I kept my calm. Once I get set, I can get those boundaries; that’s what I bank on. While batting first, it’s about putting pressure on the bowlers and getting boundaries. We don’t have to lose too many wickets, that was our conscious effort,” said Dhawan.

He added about his interaction with the Punjab camp following the loss to Delhi. “I have become a senior in the team [laughs], I give a lot of inputs to the players and my captain, on the field. The youngsters think a lot, sometimes they overthink, so I try to communicate with them. I talk about the law of attraction and how to achieve big in life,” he said.

Important win

It was a big win for the Punjab Kings in terms of how important these two points were at this crucial stage in the tournament. The team will take on Lucknow Super Giants next on April 29.

Rabada opened up about the way Punjab began the game and later, the nerves in the bowling department. “In the powerplay, we were a bit behind the rate, but I must commend Shikhar and Mayank (Agarwal) the way they held their nerve, and then the way Shikhar and Bhanu (Bhanuka Rajapaksa) played was just unbelievable,” the South African pacer said.

He added, “They set the platform for our batters to come in and play freely and then Liam Livingstone came in and hit a few gentle strokes out of the park and that set us up nicely. We got ourselves a winning total and I thought each and every individual in our bowling attack put their hand up.”