IPL 2022: Punjab Kings skipper Mayank Agarwal happy to win against against MI

Pune: After scores of 1 (v KKR), 4 (v CSK) and 5 (v GT) in their last three matches following an opening knock of 32 (v RCB), Punjab Kings skipper Mayank Agarwal struck his first half-century in Match 23 of IPL 2022 in which his team defeated Mumbai Indians by 12 runs.

Agarwal obviously was happy with his performance that earned him the Player of the Match award.

“It was a good night, very very happy to contribute to the team’s win but the crucial thing for us was the two points. I can’t really say that it was just the runs on the board. I thought this game had a lot of ups and downs, there were a lot of crucial moments and more often than not we were nailing those crucial moments and winning those crucial moments,” Agarwal said after the match on Wednesday night.

Agarwal said his team won the crucial points which eventually resulted in his team winning the match.

“Somehow or the other, when the game was 50/50, those moments came towards us. So it wasn’t just the batting. It was those periods of the game.

“At the start of the tournament, we said that’s the brand of cricket we want to play. We want to play aggressive, hard cricket, and with that we need to show good intent. I think this time around we were a lot smarter with the bat as well. So we showed great intent but we were a lot smarter so that we could keep wickets in hand and use the death as well,” he added.

“I thought in the last game against Gujarat, we gave wickets to Rashid when it wasn’t required. But this time we were a lot more aware and careful. We made sure to not give wickets to their main bowlers and if it’s your day, you have to take the team through. It can get hard,” he said.

Agarwal said his team had to change strategy to counter the onslaught by Mumbai Indians’ young batter Dewald Brevis, who blasted 49 off 25 to wrest back the initiative. His knock and partnership with Tilak Varma (36) helped Mumbai Indians recover after being reduced to 2/32 in their chase of 199.

“Credit to (Dewald) Brevis the way he took on Rahul (Chahar) and got the better of him, but then a great comeback from Rahul as well. After that one over, the other three overs he bowled were tight. Obviously when Tilak and Brevis were going the way they were going, we had to change our strategy and get into the main bowlers to try to get a wicket and luckily that happened through a runout.”

Agarwal said his bowling unit does not rely only on South African pacer Kagiso Rabada along.

“We don’t rely on just Rabada, yes he leads the attack for us but we have two other guys to come and do that. It’s nice and very happy to have three wins. I think we’re playing good cricket overall and if we get 5-10% better every game, I think we’ll go on to do special things,” Agarwal added.

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