'Why did Sam Curran open and a finisher was a sent at No.4?: Harbhajan Singh baffled by PBKS batting order vs MI | Crickit
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'Why did Sam Curran open and a finisher was a sent at No.4?: Harbhajan Singh baffled by PBKS batting order vs MI

Apr 19, 2024 03:08 PM IST

Harbhajan couldn't quite understand the logic behind opening with Sam Curran and the promotion of Liam Livingstone against MI.

Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh did not attempt to hide his disappointment over Punjab Kings batting line-up in an IPL 2024 match against Mumbai Indians at the newly-built PCA Stadium in Mullanpur on Thursday. In the absence of designated skipper Shikhar Dhawan and opener Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran opened the inning for the hosts with Prabhsimran Singh. But both of them were dismissed early. Prabhsimran was out in the first over for a duck while Curran managed 6 runs off 7 balls and was dismissed in the second over.

Mumbai Indians bowler Jasprit Bumrah with teammates celebrates the wicket of Punjab Kings batter Sam Curran(PTI)
Mumbai Indians bowler Jasprit Bumrah with teammates celebrates the wicket of Punjab Kings batter Sam Curran(PTI)

In between, PBKS also lost the wicket of Rilee Rossouw (1). After PBS were rattled early, Liam Livingstone was promoted in the order and sent in for the number four spot. Even that move didn't work as the England big-hitter was out for 1. PBKS were reduced to 14/4 in their 193-run chase.

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Harbhajan couldn't quite understand the logic behind opening with Sam Curran and the promotion of Liam Livingstone who is better suited as a finisher down the order.

"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.

After top batters failed to leave their mark, the uncapped Indian duo of Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma raised hopes of an unprecedented comeback.

Shashank struck 41 off 25 deliveries, while Ashutosh took the game deep with his 61 off 28 deliveries.

"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 Sahshank 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.

Jasprit Bumrah's (3/21) and Gerald Coetzee's (3/32) influential spells, along with a scintillating 78-run knock from Suryakumar Yadav, helped the Mumbai Indians defeat the Punjab Kings by nine runs.

MI survived an unprecedented Ashutosh (61 off 28) blitz after Suryakumar Yadav's 78 helped the visitors post 192/7.

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