We have got a title winning squad, now need to execute skills under pressure: Punjab Kings captain Mayank Agarwal | Cricket News – Times of India


New Delhi: Punjab Kings’ newly-appointed captain Mayank Agarwal believes the franchise has built a title-winning team for the IPL starting March 26.
After four seasons with the team, Agarwal has been given the leadership responsibility after his opening partner KL Rahul was transferred to the Lucknow franchise.
Agarwal scored over 400 runs in the last two seasons and formed one of the strongest opening pairs in the IPL with Rahul, but the team failed to make the play-offs.

Punjab was praised for having picked up the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow and Odeon Smith in the IPL auction. Apart from the other retained player in Arshdeep Singh, Punjab also bought back the uncapped power-hitter Shah Rukh Khan.
The team has performed poorly over the years and their only final appearance was in 2014. Management has pinned hopes on its latest recruits to turn the fortunes of the team.
“We are confident that we have a title winning team and now it is up to us players to showcase their skills under pressure and see what we can get out of it,” Agarwal told PTI on Saturday.

“As a team we have done a good job in the auction. We were looking at some skill sets knowing that the tournament will be played in Mumbai and we have covered those bases. We are happy with the balance we have.”
As captain, his role in the team increases massively, but as a batsman, he feels that nothing changes.
“When I am batting I am just a batsman. We have a lot of leaders and experience in the team and that makes it easy for me. I want to excel as a batsman and do what I am doing. (On the captaincy front) we have made our plan to take the team forward,” said the India Test opener.

Agarwal is expected to open the batting along with Dhawan but did not reveal much on the combination.
“I cannot talk about the batting order right now but I can definitely say that we are excited to have Shikhar on board. He is a complete livewire, a great entertainer, a huge performer and a lot of people will feed on his energy. He is also in a great minded place. ,
Agarwal said the talks to lead the team went on for some time and he is looking forward to the opportunity. He captained Punjab Kings last season when Rahul got injured and feels the experience will help him this season.
“It definitely helps (having captained the team before). I tasted what I felt,” he said, adding that there is no added pressure of never winning a title.
Punjab have reshuffled their support staff ahead of the 2022 season and brought in power-hitting specialist Julian Wood. Agarwal said Wood brings “something different” to the table.
“Woody is a top man. We’ve had two seasons together. He has different views on the game, it’s great to work with him. He’s very flexible and spends a lot of time with every batsman.
“He is not just talking about power hitting, he is analyzing what his strengths are and try and then maximize his potential. He is a great addition to the team and we are implementing those skills. Look forward to doing what he is teaching us,” he said.

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