Dhawan out for at least ‘seven to 10 days’: Bangar

Dhawan missed the game against Royals on Saturday night. Sam Curran led the side in his absence.

Mullanpur: Punjab Kings skipper Shikhar Dhawan could be out for at least seven to 10 days due to a shoulder injury, the team’s head of cricket development Sanjay Bangar indicated after the narrow loss to Rajasthan Royals.

Dhawan missed the game against Royals on Saturday night. Sam Curran led the side in his absence.

“He’s having a shoulder injury, so he is likely to be out for at least a couple of days, I would say. Having an experienced opener, somebody like Shikhar, who has experience of playing on such wickets, becomes extremely crucial (for the team).

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“We have to wait and see how he responds to the treatment. At the moment, it seems that he could be out of action for at least seven-ten days,” said Bangar in the post match press conference.

Jitesh Sharma was team’s representative at the captains’ meet at the start of the season as Dhawan, who was down with fever, stayed back in Mullanpur.

Considering that, Curran walking out for the toss was surprising but Bangar clarified that they were always clear about the Englisman’s role in the side.

“No, no, he (Jitesh) wasn’t the designated vice-captain. The impression could have been because he attended the captains’ seminar at the start of the IPL.

“But the thought was always that … because Sam has led the team in the previous year as well; he was late to arrive from UK and he wanted to have a few (training) sessions, that’s the reason we couldn’t send him to Chennai. Hence Jitesh was sent, because the directive was that a player has to attend.

“It wasn’t the case that Jitesh was the stand-in captain. We were very clear in our mind that if at all there had to be an opening, Sam Curran will be taking over and do the job as the captain,” said the former India batting coach.

Both Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow have not been able to provide flying starts to the team which has contributed to its inconsistent run in the tournament.

Dhawan’s replacement at the top for the Saturday’s game, Atharva Taide, too could not do much against Royals.

Bangar agreed it was a concern.

“Certainly is a cause for concern that the top order is not making enough runs for us. They are trying hard – I am not saying that they are not applying themselves – but it’s just not coming.

“Low-scoring games, especially at Mullanpur, the way the wicket is… that also is a factor. Because if you see, some of the scores have been pretty low.

“All the three games that we have played here, in the first six overs, with the new ball, the wicket tends to just jag a little bit, and uneven bounce as well. So maybe that is also a contributing factor because, not only us, the visiting teams and their top order are facing issues.”

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