Punjab Kings (PBKS) bowed out of the IPL 2023 season with a four-wicket defeat against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Dharamsala on Friday (May 19).
Asked to bat first, PBKS posted 187/5 on the board with key contributions from Sam Curran (49* off 31), Jitesh Sharma (44 off 28), and Shahrukh Khan (41* off 23).
In reply, the Royals overhauled the target with two deliveries to spare. While Yashasvi Jaiswal (50 off 36) and Devdutt Padikkal (51 off 30) set the tone with crucial half-centuries at the top, Shimron Hetmyer took RR closer to win with a dazzling 28-ball 46. In the end, Impact Player Dhruv Jurel (10* off 4) took Rajasthan over the finishing line.
After the game, PBKS batting coach Wasim Jaffer expressed frustration over the performance of his bowlers, saying they "didn't live up to the expectations" this IPL season.
"The kind of bowling attack we had, especially the fast bowlers and even spinners, we should have bowled better in certain conditions. We didn't live up to the expectations as a bowling unit," said Jaffer during the post-match press conference.
The Shikhar Dhawan-led team managed to win only 6 out of 14 league matches this season and Jaffer admitted that the team "underperformed".
"It's a disappointing season, without a doubt. With the kind of squad that we had, I think we needed to be in the top half of the table. I think we have definitely underperformed."
According to Jaffer, the inability of the batters and bowlers to perform as a unit hurt them the most, especially in close games.
"We should have won a couple of tight games but, like I said earlier also, the batting and bowling hasn't clicked together, so that was the case throughout (the season).
"Bowling sometimes let us down, initially the batting wasn't clicking. So it hasn't clicked together, if I want to put it simply. I do not want to get into the nitty-gritty but we have not played that perfect game apart from that Delhi (Capitals) game where we won by 30-odd runs. Every game was a tight one, whether we won or lost."
The batting coach wasn't really happy with the pitch back home in Mohali. "Even though we play in Mohali (home ground), which has a batting-friendly condition, it's tough for the bowlers without a doubt," he said.
The 45-year-old also expressed disappointment over Australian top-order batter Matthew Short, who managed to score just 117 from six games.
"We played Matthew Short thinking that the (Mohali) wicket will suit him. Like I said, Mohali is one of the better wickets similar to where he plays in Australia. But he didn't get going. Then we played (Sikandar) Raza."
In the end, Jaffer said injuries to key batters, especially England's Liam Livingstone and skipper Shikhar Dhawan, didn’t help their cause during the tournament.
"Considering the situation there was, Livi (Livingstone) wasn't there at the start (due to injury) and when Levi came in, we though we needed to go top heavy. And, then, Shikhar got injured. So, we had to play Short because we were missing one player there (at the top). We need to put an opener there. So those were the circumstances," he concluded.
(With PTI Inputs)