The Punjab Kings is the team that has struggled mightily in the India Premier League’s 2021 season. This is amplified by the loss of captain KL Rahul to acute appendicitis which will require a long spell on the sidelines. The IPL has been suspended which can give some breathing room for Rahul and the Kings.
The Kings have struggled to eke out wins this season. In their first eight matches, they were only able to take three wins. A big chunk of that was with Rahul which means that they struggled even when their best player was active.
Rahul did his best as the leading run-scorer but his level of performance was possibly let down by his own teammates. If you were doing your sports betting review, the Kings are one of the worst choices that you would’ve made considering that they have disappointed both the fans and pundits alike.
On May 2, 2021, they were beaten by the Delhi Capitals which proved to be one of the worst losses of the season. Former India star Ajay Jadeja had something to say about how tough the situation is for the Kings.
‘Punjab are in a tough situation. They are lagging behind on the points table’, he said. ‘They are just two positions down from the top four. But I have seen the table getting shuffled drastically. Because the bottom-placed teams are also left with their games. While Punjab is yet to face four out top five sides. So, once they start defeating the teams placed above them, they will be back in the race’.
The Kings have to prove the doubters wrong
The Kings need to perform at a high level so that they can at least make the playoffs. They know that they’re in trouble without Rahul which means that they have to play with a sense of urgency. Over their past few games, they looked lethargic which should not happen to a team that competes for a playoff spot.
Rahul’s absence is a big loss but other players need to step up. He is a big piece of this team but they can still function without him. It is understandable that they are underperforming without him but they need to make sure that they make the fallen captain proud and properly play with energy and a strong mindset to weather the storm.
Ajay also said that this worrying development should motivate the team.
‘Ultimately, the knockouts have almost begun for them. They are slated to face seven teams now and defeating all seven teams on the trot will not be an easy task’, Jadeja said. ‘It’s not impossible but winning seven out of seven is not easy. The absence of KL Rahul and his class batting will be a worrisome factor. The batting void can be filled as Mayank Agarwal played a great knock. But it will be a loss from the captaincy point of view’.
Can the Kings recover in time?
It will be hard for the Kings to raise their ceiling with an injured star captain. However, there are some players who have the ability to carry the team. Stars like Mayank Agarwal and Murugan Ashwin will be relied on to carry the load that Rahul left. It is a tough task for them to take but they can be the best players on the team this season.
However, the biggest name that can break out is Shahrukh Khan. He is known as a top prospect but it might be too quick to give him the driver’s wheel for the Kings. However, he might not have a choice as he can step up.
Khan is someone that people see as a breakout performer in Rahul’s place. Of course, it will be hard to do but his potential helps his case of becoming a regular part of the rotation. It will also speed up his development as some pundits and fans still see him as a project player.
Hopefully, the Kings can surprise sports betting review experts. It will be interesting to see if they can represent Rahul in his absence. It will be hard to support the Kings with their record, but anything is possible in the IPL.