Mayank Agarwal may have lost his first game as the captain of the Punjab Kings (PBKS), but his ‘Player of the Match’ performance has impressed former England skipper Kevin Pietersen.
Mayank Agarwal carried his bat through the innings, scoring almost 60% of his team’s runs. His unbeaten 99 propelled PBKS to a competitive total of 166, but that wasn’t enough to stop the Delhi Capitals (DC) from romping home with 14 balls to spare.
Kevin Pietersen said that Mayank Agarwal might have had some self-doubts before the game but observed that his ‘breathtaking’ innings on Sunday was an emphatic statement of intent.
“I tell you what, he may have questioned himself before the game, but there is no more question to answer. When you go out and play an innings like he has just played here for all of us to see. It is just breathtaking,” Kevin Pietersen said.
Mayank Agarwal didn’t play the match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) due to a niggle. Kevin Pietersen noted that the Karnataka batter would have felt the pressure leading into this match, especially after being handed PBKS’ captaincy responsibilities as well.
“He also did not play the previous game, and KL Rahul did so well, so there has been so much pressure leading into this game. Yes, he has been playing so well, and he is a quality player. But sometimes you do question yourself,” Pietersen added.
“Captaincy can go one of two ways” – Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen had earlier said that it isn’t easy to be the captain because of the pressure that comes with the role.
“I think I said on commentary that captaincy can go one of two ways. You can either deal with it, that weight of expectations that clearly is just thrown straight amongst what you got to do for your team. It can create pressure; you start to worry about your players, your team,” Pietersen said on Star Sports.
With KL Rahul unlikely to return any time soon, Mayank Agarwal will continue leading PBKS in the upcoming games.
PBKS will play their next game against RCB on May 6 in Ahmedabad.