PBKS vs GT: Punjab Kings biased? Harbhajan Singh questions mistreatment of Shashank Singh, Ashutosh Sharma

Updated - 19 Apr 2024, 05:44 PM

Harbhajan Singh, Ashutosh Sharma, Shashank Singh
Harbhajan Singh, Ashutosh Sharma, Shashank Singh (PC: X.com)

Former India National Cricket Team off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has lashed out at the Punjab Kings (PBKS) for their batting order in the match against the Hardik Pandya-led Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday, April 18, at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium, Mullanpur, New Chandigarh.

Punjab Kings lost a nail-biting encounter against the Mumbai Indians by 9 runs to go down to the ninth spot in the Indian Premier League 2024 points table. Bowling first, PBKS let the Mumbai Indians post a total of 192/7 on the board as Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, and Tilak Varma fired with the bat.

Chasing the target, Punjab Kings decided to field a new opening combination in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan and they sent Prabhsimran Singh and Sam Curran to open the innings with Rilee Rossouw and Liam Livingstone coming to bat at No.3 and No.4.

All the above-mentioned batters were horrible with their performance and all of them were back in the dugout by the 3rd over itself as Punjab Kings were reduced to 14/4.

PBKS would've suffered an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Hardik Pandya-led side had Ashutosh Sharma not stepped up with the bat along with Shashank Singh. The duo have been the shining light for PBKS throughout the season and they showcased batting masterclass in the match against MI.

Shashank Singh smashed 41 runs off 25 balls, with 2 fours and 3 sixes, On the other hand, Ashutosh Sharma tried to take the game deep and hit a magnificent half-century. He eventually got out in the 18th over for 28-ball 61 and Punjab Kings fell short of the win.

What was the point of sending Sam Curran to open? - Harbhajan Singh 

Harbhajan Singh was left fuming after the defeat of Punjab Kings and he was particularly left disappointed with the PBKS batting line-up for the Mumbai Indians clash. The former India off-spinner slammed PBKS management for promoting Sam Curran to open and Liam Livingstone to the No.4 position.

"What was the point of sending Sam Curran to open? Prabhsimran got out while trying to pull. I can understand that both players got out on not-so-dangerous deliveries. Then the delivery that got Rilee Rossouw out was sensational. But then you sent Livingstone as a batter who plays the role of finisher and goes on No. 6 because he plays the role of finisher," Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.

Harbhajan Singh further acknowledged the performances of Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma, saying that the duo have been in red-hot form and they helped PBKS avoid an embarrassing defeat. He questioned the PBKS for promoting the England stars, but not allowing Shashank and Ashutosh to bat up the order despite being in good form.

"We have to appreciate Shashank and Ashutosh. I want to understand how this management works. They send Livingstone up in the batting order and the players who are in form, Shashank are sent afterwards. You sent Harpreet Bhatia ahead of him. If you have brought him, then you should have waited. Shashank is in good form he has already produced match-winning performances. 

"If Shashank and Ashutosh were not there PBKS would have fallen before 100. Ashutosh is in form and he should be promoted to the batting order. You should give youngsters an opportunity," he added.


Harbhajan Singh Ashutosh Sharma Shashank Singh IPL 2024 Punjab Kings (PBKS)