Punjab Kings play probably their last game of this Indian Premier League on Thursday at the iconic Dubai Stadium against Chennai Super Kings with mathematical chance of making it to the playoffs if they win their game and other results go their way.
One of the main reasons Punjab Kings find themselves in this position is because they were not able to close out games which they dominated but choked in the end. That too with their captain KL Rahul being the leading run-scorer with 528 runs.
One more reason I believe for them packing their bags and almost out of the tournament is due to their foreign players, who simply did not contribute to justify their price tags. The likes of Nicolas Pooran, who scored just 85 runs in 12 innings, cost them dearly as in spite of the good start given by KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, the middle order failed to cash in. Another West Indian who did not do well was Fabian Allen, who picked up just one wicket in four matches at an average of 90.
What was surprising to see that in spite of having Adil Rashid in their squad, Punjab Kings played him for one just match against Rajasthan Royals — which they lost by just two runs. Adel Rashid is England’s No. 1 spinner in the shorter format having played 62 matches picking up 65 wickets at an average of 24 and economy of 7.48 which is very good keeping in mind that England wickets don’t help the spinners as much as it helps the fast bowlers. In fact, Adil Rashid has an experience of playing 202 T20 matches for his county Yorkshire and picking up 232 wickets at a miserly average of 22 and going at less than 7.50 runs per over. He is Eoin Morgan’s go to Man and has delivered more often than not and has a big heart as he does not scare of fighting the ball to buy wickets. Moreover, he is quite handy with the bat too and is a total team Man.
Most the wickets in the UAE were supporting the spin bowlers and one wondered why Adil Rashid was not given chances to prove his credentials. By not picking him Punjab has not done justice not only to Adel Rashid but also to their own chances which now seems to be as good as over for this season.