Punjab Kings (PBKS) head coach Anil Kumble praised the selfless decision from the skipper, Mayank Agarwal, to demote himself down the order in order to accommodate Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order.
The move paid off against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a must-win game at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday. The Englishman smashed a stunning 29-ball 66 which set the platform for a huge total of 209.
The PBKS bowlers then put on an excellent combined effort to restrict RCB to 155 and win the match by 54 runs. Bairstow deservedly won the Player of the Match award for his exhilarating knock.
“He (Bairstow) is an exceptional player. His experience at the top of the order it’s not easy for Mayank who has done exceptionally well at the top to sacrifice his place and come down the order. We felt that we needed an experienced guy in the middle as well with Levy, Jitesh and Rishi,” Kumble said after the game.
“His intent in the powerplay is amazing” – Anil Kumble on Bairstow
Bairstow had been struggling to hit form in the IPL 2022 season but he took on RCB’s most economical bowler, Josh Hazlewood, and smashed the Aussie all around the park. Hazlewood ended with the season’s worst figures of 0/64 in 4 overs.
“So Jonny went up the order and he has done a brilliant job. His intent in the powerplay is amazing and the way he sort of took the game away from RCB in the first overs that set the done.”
“He is a very important player for us. Five games back, we sort of decided that the experienced guys would take the initiative. I am really glad that Jonny at the top of the order has paid off,” the former leg-spinner further added.