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Why did PBKS miss the playoffs again? A look at the performance of their bowlers

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Last Updated on 1 year by Charbel Coorey

Analysis: Why did PBKS miss the playoffs again? An in-depth look at the performance of their bowlers

Punjab Kings (PBKS) have once again failed to make it to the playoffs of the IPL. After the loss to Rajasthan Royals in their last game of the season, Punjab Kings were eliminated in the group stages for the ninth time in a row.

With ten points in their first nine games, a top four finish looked almost certain for PBKS. However, they managed to get just two points in their last five games.

PBKS miss the playoffs again – how did their bowlers perform?

PBKS picked up 72 wickets in total throughout the tournament, and used nine different bowlers in the process. Here is a brief summary on how the PBKS bowlers fared in IPL 2023:

PBKS miss the playoffs again – how did their bowlers perform?

Arshdeep Singh

With 17 wickets, Arshdeep ended the season as Punjab Kings’ leading wicket taker. Overall, Arshdeep was clearly the pick of the bowlers for PBKS. However, the stats could be slightly misleading. In the first seven games of the season, Arshdeep picked up 13 wickets at an economy of just 8.16, but in the next seven, he managed to pick up just four wickets at an economy of 11.19 runs per over.

In the first half, the pacer had a bowling average of 15.70 and struck every 11.54 balls. On the contrary, he had a bowling average of 72.25 and struck every 38.75 balls in the second half. The sharp decline in Arshdeep’s form may well be one of the reasons behind PBKS’ failure to qualify for the knockouts.

The away game against Mumbai Indians where he uprooted and broke the middle stump twice was arguably the last impressive performance from him this season. Ever since, he hasn’t been at his best. Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy has been baffling at times this season, and his usage of Arshdeep Singh in the last few games was equally surprising. To the surprise of many, Arshdeep did not open the bowling for PBKS in any of their last three games.

Despite that, Arshdeep still had a decent season.

Nathan Ellis

Why did PBKS miss the playoffs again? Nathan Ellis impressed.

The 28-year old Australian pacer, with 13 wickets in 10 games, ended up as PBKS’ second best bowler, only behind Arshdeep Singh. Striking every 17.34 deliveries, Ellis’ strike rate was the best among all PBKS bowlers. In the campaign, he managed to dismiss both Faf du Plessis, who currently holds the Orange Cap, and Yashasvi Jaiswal, who made history by crossing the 600-run mark in RR’s last game of the season. In a season where PBKS failed to make it to the top four once again, Ellis was one of the few positives that PBKS would take away from the tourney.

Sam Curran

Why did PBKS miss the playoffs again? Sam Curran didn’t deliver consistently.

Punjab Kings spent a whopping 18.50 crore on Sam Curran at the auction, making him the most expensive player in the history of the tournament. For the price he was bought at, Curran was hugely disappointing. His economy of 10.22 and bowling average of 48.9 were the worst among all PBKS bowlers who bowled at least ten overs this season.

Curran bowled ten overs in the powerplay this season, and failed to get a single wicket. Seven out of Curran’s ten wickets came in the death overs, but he also had an economy of 10.55 in that phase. It would be fair to say that he did not do justice to his price tag of 18.50 crore.

Harpreet Brar

Shikhar Dhawan has received a fair bit of criticism regarding the way he has used Harpreet Brar this season, and rightfully so. Brar bowled just 27.1 overs in a total of 13 games. He did not bowl at all on two occasions, and bowled just one over in two games.

That makes it two overs in four games for someone who has been one of PBKS’ best bowlers in the season. Purely because of the quality of batters dismissed by him, it would not be wrong to call Brar PBKS’ most effective bowler in 2023. Brar dismissed Hardik Pandya, Kyle Mayers, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Philip Salt, Rilee Rossouw, David Warner and Manish Pandey this season.

Brar’s average of 24.22 was the best among all PBKS bowlers, while his economy of 8.02 was second only to Rahul Chahar’s. Dhawan held Brar back numerous times to avoid the matchup against left handed batters. Some proactive captaincy could have changed PBKS’ fate. Irrespective of how he wasn’t used to his full potential, Brar was quite easily one of the best bowlers for PBKS.

Rahul Chahar

Rahul Chahar managed to pick up just eight wickets in the entire season. With an economy of 7.75, he was PBKS’ most economical bowler this time. However, the average of 48.12 and the strike rate of 37.25 would have disappointed both Chahar as well as the PBKS management.

In a season where the likes of Rashid Khan and Piyush Chawla are competing for the Purple Cap, PBKS would have wanted Chahar to strike much more frequently in the middle overs. The lack of regular wickets after the powerplay could be a reason behind PBKS’ failure.

Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada played just six games for PBKS this season. In the 23 overs he bowled, he managed to pick up seven wickets. Rabada’s economy of 10.08 was the second highest among bowlers who bowled a minimum of 10 overs for PBKS, with four of his scalps coming in the powerplay.

With a dot-ball percentage of almost 54% in the first six overs, Rabada bowled decently in that phase of the game. However, he gave away a total of 65 runs in five overs at the death. He might not have played a lot of games, but PBKS would still feel Rabada’s performance was not really up to the mark. From a bowler of Rabada’s caliber, they would have expected much more.

Sikandar Raza

The all-rounder from Zimbabwe had a fairly decent tournament. The way PBKS used him was surprising, just like a lot of other decisions made by them. Raza picked up three wickets in 12 overs, and had an average of 24. Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t bowled out once in the six games that he bowled in. He conceded at 9.91 runs per over, making his economy the worst out of the three PBKS spinners who bowled a minimum of ten overs in the season.

Liam Livingstone

Primarily in the team for his batting, Liam Livingstone bowled just seven overs in nine games, picking up two wickets. His economy of 13.42 made him PBKS’ worst bowler of the season in terms of economy. Like Rishi Dhawan, he also managed to get the big wicket of Rohit Sharma. He was disappointing with the ball, but after all, he is not the T20 beast that he is because of his bowling.

Rishi Dhawan

Bowling a total of seven overs in six games, Rishi Dhawan picked up just a single wicket for PBKS. The wicket game against the Mumbai Indians, and it was a huge one, that of their skipper, Rohit Sharma. Anyhow, Rishi failed to create an impact and had a below average season this time around. Going forward, PBKS need to decide how to use Rishi more effectively.

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