Shikhar Dhawan will miss KKR match, likely to return against CSK: Sunil Joshi

Shikhar Dhawan
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Shikhar Dhawan

Kolkata, Punjab Kings captain Shikhar Dhawan, who is nursing a shoulder injury, was ruled out of Friday’s IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders and the team is hopeful of his return against Chennai Super Kings on May 1.

The 38-year-old last played against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9 and has since missed three matches after Sam Curran became the captain.

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PBKS spin bowling coach Sunil Joshi said that Dhawan is on a recovery course and the left-handed batsman could possibly make a comeback in their next game in Chennai.

“He was in form and we really missed his batting services. We saw him batting yesterday, going through the nets and everything,” Joshi said on the eve of the match against KKR.

“He is on the road to recovery. Hopefully he will be fit for the next game,” he said.

PBKS have failed to perform well as a batting unit and are ninth in the table with four points from eight matches.

Jitesh ‘Haunted’

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Wicketkeeper batsman Jitesh Sharma has been one of the biggest failures for PBKS in the ongoing IPL.

From being in contention as one of India’s first-choice wicketkeepers, Sharma has gradually fallen off the radar this IPL, scoring just 128 runs at an average of 16.00 and a modest strike-rate of 125.49 in eight innings this IPL.

His highest score this season has been 29 and he has not even been able to cross single digits in three matches.

Joshi attributed this to being troubled by the pressure of living up to expectations.

“Jitesh is a quality batsman and we all know that it is time for him to perform aggressively tomorrow. And yes, of course, there are many players throughout the IPL.

“They are all eager to be included in the T20 World Cup squad. But sometimes, most of the players are at that stage that making a place in the Indian team will always be nagging. So, it is about focusing on the basic, right things. Is in.”

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Asked what was his message to Sharma, he said, “Ultimately, you have to perform. You have to focus on one ball at a time, you can’t look beyond that. You are playing in the IPL, you have to perform in the matches. “We have to focus on that.” Match by ball, ball by ball, leave the rest to the selectors.”

Joshi further said that there will be pressure on KKR to perform well and win at home as they would like to “play freely”.

He said, “We have come out of the house. The pressure should now be on the home team so that we can play freely and score runs.”

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