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Dhawan absence likely to extend to ‘7 to 10 days’

Dhawan absence likely to extend to ‘7 to 10 days’

Shikhar Dhawan, the captain of Punjab Kings, will be missing at least a couple more games in IPL 2024 due to a shoulder injury.

Dhawan was absent from Punjab’s recent home game against table-toppers Rajasthan Royals because of shoulder trouble. Sanjay Bangar, the Head of Cricket Development at Kings, stated that the captain is expected to be sidelined for the next “seven to 10 days.”

“Unfortunately, we missed out on having Shikhar [tonight] because he has a shoulder injury. So, he’s likely to be out for a couple of days [games], I would say,” Bangar said. He added, “We’ll have to wait and see how he responds to the treatment, but at the moment, it seems that he could be out of action for at least seven to 10 days.”

During this period, Punjab is scheduled to play two more home fixtures. They will face Mumbai Indians on Thursday (April 18), and the reverse fixture against Royal Challengers Bangalore next Sunday (April 21) will conclude their five home games at the newly inaugurated facility at Mullanpur in New Chandigarh. Dhawan is expected to return in time for the team’s next away match, in Kolkata on April 26.

Shikhar Dhawan could miss ‘7 to 10 days’ due to injury

In Dhawan’s absence, England allrounder Sam Curran led PBKS in the low-scoring thriller against RR, which the hosts lost by three wickets off the penultimate ball.

Curran, not Jitesh, PBKS vice-captain

Confusion arose when Curran walked out for the toss against RR. Last month, at the pre-season captains’ briefing in Chennai, on the eve of the IPL 2024 tournament opener, Jitesh Sharma had filled in for an ill Dhawan.

Jitesh, who had attended an optional practice session on the eve of the RR clash, suffered a blow to his forehead while batting without a helmet in the spinners’ nets. Bangar revealed that the wicketkeeper-batter took the field on Saturday despite 15 stitches to his eyebrow, but that unfortunate incident wasn’t quite the reason for the Punjab management to overlook Jitesh for captaincy duties. Incidentally, Jitesh was never officially the team’s designated vice-captain.

In a similar situation in IPL 2023, when Dhawan was briefly ruled out due to an on-field injury, Curran had led PBKS in three games with a win-loss record of 2-1. Bangar said the team sought continuity, and if it weren’t for Curran’s late arrival in India, he would have been on that flight to Chennai as well.

“The thought was always to have Curran [stand-in] because he had led the team in the previous year as well. He was late to arrive from the UK, and because he wanted to have a few sessions, that’s the reason we couldn’t send him to Chennai for [briefing], and hence Jitesh was sent since the directive from the IPL [committee] was that a player has to attend… We were very clear in our minds that if at all there had to be an opening.

Despite failing to make any significant contribution with the bat, Curran delivered a twin-wicket 19th over in PBKS’ defence of 147 when RR needed 20 off 12 balls. Curran finished the game with figures of 4-0-25-2.

The Kings are currently placed eighth in the ten-team table, with four wins in six matches.

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