Cricket

IPL 2024: Shoulder Injury Rules Shikhar Dhawan Out For 'At Least 7-10 Days' - Sanjay Bangar

England all-rounder Sam Curran led Punjab Kings against Rajasthan Royals, as Shikhar Dhawan missed the game due to his shoulder injury. Jitesh Sharma was the team's representative at the captains' meet ahead of the IPL 2024 season, but it was Curran who took over the reigns in Dhawan's absence

Shikhar Dhawan and Sam Curran, Punjab Kings, IPL 2024, AP photo
Shikhar Dhawan (left) and Sam Curran in action for Punjab Kings during their Indian Premier League 2024 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Photo: AP
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Injured Punjab Kings captain Shikhar Dhawan could be out of action for at least seven to 10 days due to a shoulder issue, the franchise's head of cricket development Sanjay Bangar implied after their three-wicket defeat to Rajasthan Royals in match 27 of Indian Premier League 2024. (Full Coverage | More Cricket News)

England all-rounder Sam Curran led PBKS against Royals on Saturday night (April 13) as Dhawan missed the game. "We have to wait and see how he (Dhawan) responds to the treatment. At the moment, it seems that he could be out of action for at least seven-ten days," Bangar said in the post-match press conference.

Wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma was the team's representative at the captains' meet at the start of the IPL 2024 season as Dhawan, who was down with fever, had stayed back in Mullanpur.

That led to some surprise when Curran walked out for the toss for the PBKS vs RR game, but Bangar later said the team was always clear about the Englishman's role.

"No, no, he (Jitesh) wasn't the designated vice-captain. The impression could have been because he attended the captains' seminar at the start of the IPL.

"But the thought was always that ... because Sam has led the team in the previous year as well; he was late to arrive from UK and he wanted to have a few (training) sessions, that's the reason we couldn't send him to Chennai. Hence Jitesh was sent, because the directive was that a player has to attend.

"It wasn't the case that Jitesh was the stand-in captain. We were very clear in our mind that if at all there had to be an opening, Sam Curran will be taking over and do the job as the captain," said Bangar, a former India batting coach.

Asked if Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow not being able to provide Punjab good starts was a worrying sign, Bangar agreed. "Certainly is a cause for concern that the top order is not making enough runs for us. They are trying hard - I am not saying that they are not applying themselves - but it's just not coming.

"Low-scoring games, especially at Mullanpur, the way the wicket is… that also is a factor. Because if you see, some of the scores have been pretty low.

"All the three games that we have played here, in the first six overs, with the new ball, the wicket tends to just jag a little bit, and uneven bounce as well. So maybe that is also a contributing factor because, not only us, the visiting teams and their top order are facing issues," he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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