Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif termed a veteran Indian cricketer as the ‘Khalifa of IPL’, ahead of superstars like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and others. Ahead of the GT vs PBKS, Indian Premier League 2023 match on Thursday, Kaif heaped praises on none other than the veteran India opener Shikhar Dhawan for leading the team from the front. As of April 14, Punjab Kings skipper currently leads the IPL 2023 Orange Cap standings with a total of 233 runs to his name in four games, which includes two fifties.
Meanwhile, speaking on Star Sports, Kaif said, “Punjab Kings’ bowling is good. The team that has a good bowling unit has a better chance of finishing in the top four in the IPL. Shikhar Dhawan is the Khalifa of IPL. He is in form and leading his team by example. These conditions have further boosted the chances of his team going a long way this season."
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At the same, former Australian cricketer David Hussey also weighed in his thoughts on the left-handed batter. “Punjab Kings’ strategy looks simple in IPL i.e. to bat around Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan has paced his innings brilliantly in the tournament, he’s a world-class batter," Hussey said in the same discussion.
Interestingly, Kaif and Hussey’s thoughts turned out to be true as the Punjab Kings middle order struggled after the skipper’s early dismissal against defending champions Gujarat Titans. While, PBKS opener Prabhsimran Singh was removed for a duck in the first over of the match, bowled by Mohammed Shami, Dhawan hit a run-a-ball knock of eight runs only. Matthew Short top scored with a knock of 36 runs in 24 balls for Punjab, as four other batsmen crossed the 20-run mark but failed to convert the starts into useful knocks.
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Chasing 154 runs against PBKS, Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha added 48 runs for the first wicket-stand. Saha hit 30 runs off 19 balls in the second innings, Gill scored 67 runs off 49 balls. While Shubman top-scored with 67 pff 49, GT clinched the victory in the last ball. With the win GT earned valuable points, joining RR and LSG at the top of the IPL points table with three wins in four games.
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