PBKS vs CSK: Sam Curran to replace Shikhar Dhawan as Punjab Kings skipper? Former MI Pacers's striking verdict

Published - 02 May 2024, 02:00 PM | Updated - 02 May 2024, 02:09 PM

Sam Curran and Shikhar Dhawan
Sam Curran and Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan commented on the Punjab Kings' leadership situation following the return of regular skipper Shikhar Dhawan. Mitchell McClenaghan suggested that stand-in skipper Sam Curran should continue leading the Punjab Kings, citing his leadership qualities.

Shikhar Dhawan last played for Punjab Kings during a close defeat against SunRisers Hyderabad. Dhawan sustained a shoulder injury while fielding. The left-handed batter has been out of action for over three weeks. He has scored 152 runs in five matches at an average of 30.40 and a strike rate of 125.62.

The Punjab franchise lost three matches under the leadership of Sam Curran. However, they bounced back with a victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), where they chased a target of 262 runs. The team continued their winning momentum and defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in an away match.

The Mullanpur-based franchise defeated the Super Kings by seven wickets at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, May 1. They are currently in seventh place in the 10-team points table. The team has secured four wins out of 10 matches played in the ongoing T20 tournament.

Sam Curran Looks Very Supportive - Mitchell McClenaghan

In a video shared by ESPNcricinfo on X (formerly known as Twitter), Mitchell McClenaghan praised Sam Curran for his calm demeanor and tactical brilliance. McClenaghan emphasized Curran's supportive nature with his bowlers and credited him for the team's strong field placements.

"He (Shikhar Dhawan) is a chill guy. Does Shikhar need to captain for himself? I don't think so. I think Sam Curran has done a great job. He's looked calm. He's competitive, and he's the type of leader that you follow because he's in the game, but he's also on the field," McClenaghan told ESPNcricinfo.

"He looks very supportive with his bowlers, always watching the field, always changing angles, and making sure guys are aware and in the right place. That's probably been the noticeable difference is that tactically their field positions have been sound."

"Quite often, they're getting hit to the sweepers, that's why their bowling unit's going so well. Maybe they haven't been bowling as well as other teams, but their field has been great. It's covered all those angles correctly, and that's leadership. That's coming from Sam."

The Chennai Super Kings started well, with their openers contributing 64 runs in 8.2 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad was the top scorer with 62 runs off 48 balls but lacked support from other batters. Inform batter Shivam Dube was dismissed for a duck. MS Dhoni scored 14 runs off 11 balls as CSK scored 162 runs in 20 overs.

In their chase of 163, Prabhsimran Singh, who scored 13 runs, was dismissed in the fourth over. Jonny Bairstow (46 off 30) and Rilee Rossouw (43 off 23) built a crucial partnership of 64 runs for the second wicket. Shashank Singh (25*) and Sam Curran (26*) guided Punjab to victory with an unbeaten 50-run partnership.

Also read: PBKS vs CSK: Riley Rossouw reveals how Sam Curran plotted MS Dhoni's nightmare with Rahul Chahar