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Mayank Agarwal reveals the reason for not batting against Gujarat

By Daniel S

May 4, 2022

Mayank Agarwal's captaincy stint with Punjab in the Indian T20 league 2022 has been topsy-turvy, to say the least. Although they have been good in patches, they haven't really been consistent. Nevertheless, the Punjab-based franchise recently beat the in-form Gujarat by eight wickets.

This was the Agarwal-led side's fifth win in 10 games. Thus, the 2014-finalists are still in the race to make it to the playoffs. However, it is to be noted that the Punjab skipper didn't open the innings during the game against the Hardik Pandya-led. He astonishingly didn't even come to bat during the match and let the likes of Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone bat ahead of him.

Thus, this shocked the experts and fans as the Karnataka batter is predominantly a top-order batter, and generally opens the innings. However, Agarwal explained that they wanted to get the best out of Jonny Bairstow and hence, sent him to open the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan. As for Livingstone batting ahead of him, the 31-year-old spoke about how the idea was for the all-rounder to play his normal game.

"We are trying to get the best out of Jonny. He's done well opening. I said, 'It's okay, I'll bat at four, I'll anchor the innings at four'. With Livi it was clear, Shikhar to bat through and Livi could go out and play the way he wants to play. It was nice the way he played, got the score quickly. We would like to string a few (wins), no better time than getting a few wins back-to-back," said Mayank Agarwal during the post-match presentation.

He then said that they wanted to finish the game as quickly as possible. Agarwal also praised the crucial partnership of Dhawan and Rajapaksa. However, the Punjab captain himself hasn't really been at his best in the 2022 edition. Thus, he would want to get back amongst the runs.

"When we got to that position, two points are almost clear, if we can score it as quickly as possible, we could also improve the Net Run-Rate. I thought we bowled exceedingly well, we got early wickets and choked them in the middle. That really helped us to restrict them to a below-par score. The partnership between Shikhar and Bhanu was crucial for us," he added.