Shikhar Dhawan, the experienced Indian opener, has been entrusted with leading the resurgence of the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season. The Kings’ fortunes have been dismal over the past few years, failing to qualify for the playoffs since 2014. With his impressive track record in the IPL, Dhawan’s role as a senior member of the squad is crucial to the team’s success. But can he break free from his shackles and guide the Kings to the playoffs this year? Let’s explore.

Dhawan’s Slow Start in IPL 2023

In the Kings’ opening match against the Rajasthan Royals, Dhawan’s slow start did not hurt the team, as they managed to post a competitive total of 197 on a dewy surface. However, there were concerns that his cautious approach could have backfired in different circumstances, and the team might have underperformed.

Dhawan’s Slow Scoring Rate in Powerplay

One area of concern for Dhawan’s batting has been his scoring rate in the powerplay overs. Since 2021, his scoring rate in the first six overs has been on the decline. He has been facing pressure to innovate and play unorthodox shots to catch up in the latter half of his innings.

Can Dhawan Lead the Kings to the Playoffs?

Despite the slow start, Dhawan’s experience and class cannot be overlooked. He has been one of the most consistent performers in the IPL over the years and has scored over 500 runs in each of the last three seasons. Dhawan’s ability to anchor the innings and play the big shots when required is crucial to the Kings’ success this year.

Shikar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan achieved his 50th fifty in the Indian Premier League

Need for Support from Other Batsmen

Dhawan cannot carry the burden of the Kings’ batting alone. The team needs contributions from the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, and Deepak Hooda, who have been inconsistent in the past. If the team’s middle order can step up and support Dhawan, the Kings can mount competitive totals and challenge their opponents.

Importance of Team Strategy and Selection

Another key factor in the Kings’ success will be their team strategy and selection. The team management must make tough calls on team selection and balance the playing XI to suit the conditions and opposition. They need to make bold decisions and back their players to deliver the goods.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Shikhar Dhawan’s role as a senior member of the Punjab Kings squad is critical to their success in the IPL 2023 season. If he can break free from his shackles and play with freedom, the Kings can aspire to break their playoffs drought. However, Dhawan cannot carry the burden of the team’s batting alone, and the team needs support from their middle order. The team management also needs to make strategic decisions and select the playing XI wisely. Only then can the Kings hope to make a mark in the IPL this year.