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Fingers crossed! Brad Haddin gives huge update on the fitness of Punjab Kings skipper Shikhar Dhawan

Punjab Kings (PBKS) assistant coach Brad Haddin revealed that Shikhar Dhawan’s participation against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala is uncertain on Thursday.

“Shikhar will be assessed and hopefully we can have some more positive news about him in the last few games. We will review it when we reach Delhi. Fingers crossed,” Brad Haddin said at the pre-match press conference.

Sam Curran has been in charge for the past few matches, while skipper Shikhar Dhawan has been absent due to an injury. Haddin admitted that Dhawan’s injury was a setback for Punjab this season but expressed hope that the left-handed batsman will be fit to play the final two matches.

“In any team you are a part of, it is disappointing to leave your oldest players behind for extended periods. I don’t need to sit here and tell you about Shikhar’s record in IPL. He is the most successful opener in this tournament,” Haddin said.

With the play-off stage fast approaching, all eyes are on the points table. All teams still have a chance to clinch the coveted spot in the top four, but Brad Haddin insisted his side are taking the competition one game at a time.

Punjab went down by 28 runs to Chennai Super Kings at the same venue last week and will be hoping to return to winning ways on Thursday to stay in the hunt for the play-offs.

“The discussion over the past few days has been about the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. If you look back at the last game we played, we put ourselves in a position to win the game. We had to chase around 160 runs and we couldn’t chase it down. So yeah, our main focus was making sure we worked on what we needed from that game and focused on that. There’s no point in worrying about the next two games unless we play well in them.”


Haddin expressed his disappointment with the result in the previous match. “We thought we had just started playing good cricket. Our batters started finding good form after Kolkata and Chennai. And it was disappointing. We thought we were just starting to get some momentum back into the tournament. It was disappointing to lose like this,” he said.

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But the former Australia international praised youngsters Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma for their invaluable contributions this season. The two young players have batted beautifully in the lower middle order and have already given their side some important victories this season.

“I think Shashank and Ashutosh have been excellent. They are two young players who have grown during the IPL. The most pleasant thing about these players is that they make runs under pressure. You see guys come in and then score points. But these two have come in and scored points in tough situations,” Haddin said.

“So technically you have to be very good and their sense of play and resilience under pressure were good. For two guys who haven’t tasted much of IPL and its hype. So yes, they are two positive stories of the season,” he added.

“We are going to Delhi for a few days after this match before going to our next match in Guwahati,” he signed off.