Mayank Agarwal has said that Liam Livingstone’s cameo of unbeaten 30 runs from 10 balls helped the team improve their net run rate after winning against Gujarat Titans by eight wickets. Agarwal also added that the change in the opening pair was done to get the best out of Jonny Bairstow.
Punjab Kings have reviewed their chances of making it to the playoffs beating Gujarat Titans by eight wickets. GT won the toss and chose to bat first going against the trend of preferring to bowl first. PBKS put up a brilliant bowling effort to restrict the opposition on 143/8. Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged four wickets conceding 33 runs in his spell. Arshdeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan, and Liam Livingstone played supporting act taking one wicket each.
The chase was going to be an easy task for PBKS. However, they made a change in the opening pair as Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow came to open in the middle. Bairstow lost his wicket early but Bhanuka Rajapaksa steadied the innings with his knock of 40 runs. Shikhar Dhawan stayed at one end scoring a half-century but a cameo from Liam Livingstone, in the end, helped them win with four overs to spare. Reflecting on Livinsgtone’s knock, Agarwal revealed that his innings helped the team improve the net run rate.
“It was nice the way he played, got the score quickly. 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,” Agarwal stated in the post-match presentation.
Bairstow has a good record while opening the innings in IPL. Agarwal revealed that the change in the opening pair was to get the best out of the Bairstow. He also said that this is the right time for the franchise to get maximum wins in the remaining fixtures.
“We would like to string a few (wins), no better time than getting a few wins back-to-back. 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,” he explained.