'A Chance For Young Players To Have A Breakout Performance, Says PBKS Assistant Coach Haddin Ahead Of RR Clash

(MENAFN- IANS) Guwahati, May 14 (IANS) Punjab Kings will return to action against the Rajasthan Royals at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium
here on Wednesday, as the franchise looks to finish off the season on a good note. Despite not progressing further in the competition, the Kings' squad believes the remaining two games are a good chance for the youngsters to express themselves with freedom and make a mark in their tournament.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference
on Tuesday, Punjab Kings Assistant Coach Brad Haddin said that the team management is focusing on giving the maximum exposure to the inexperienced players in the upcoming matches.

"We want the guys to play with freedom. Tomorrow's game is for them to go out there and express themselves. It is another opportunity for younger guys in the team to develop. We are confident that they will take this opportunity and put on a show with the skills we know they have. The players must see these games as opportunities to get that big score and to have that breakout performance in the IPL with which they can kick on for years to come," Haddin said.

"It's tough being eliminated. But in this tournament, there are always good opportunities to play against quality opposition. From our point of view, we want to make sure that the players forget what has happened before and focus on where they can improve," the former Australia international was quoted as saying in a release.

Rajasthan Royals have been one of the top teams in the ongoing Indian PremierLeague
season, maintaining a consistent winning run. With youngsters like Riyan Parag being spectacular with the bat, veterans such as Sanju Samson chipping in at the top order, and a bowling
unit led by speedster Trent Boult, the Royals have posed a hard challenge for all opposition.

"We know the quality that Rajasthan Royals have. They have got some really good bowlers up front with Boult, and they got two quality spinners in the middle, and they got a lot of power at the back. But it's important that we get our process right. We focus on continuing to develop our players," Haddin said.

The 22-year-old Parag may further have an advantage in Guwahati on Wednesday, as he will be playing the match in his home state and will be familiar with the conditions. On being asked about their strategies to tackle the explosive batter, Haddin revealed a secret weapon.

"If you look at Riyan's development over the last couple of years, he's gradually got better and better. This year, he has been starting to win games. But we're lucky we have a secret weapon to tackle him in Trevor Gonsalves, who has coached him all the way through. He gave some really good insights into him during the team meeting. So, we have a couple of plans," he said.

Further speaking on the threat posed by Samson, Haddin added:“Samson has also played some really good cricket
for a long, long time. Now he's one of the important wickets for the opposition. But that is an opportunity for our bowling
group who have been good throughout the tournament. Samson is among the players our bowlers would want to make uncomfortable and get the wicket of and put the odds back in our favour."

Haddin further praised the pitch in Guwahati and said that his side have a good experience of playing on the surface.“The pitch is very impressive. We had a good run last night and the surface looks great. We were lucky enough to have a bit of practice on one of the centre wickets as well and it was really consistent. The wickets outside are also of good quality. We have good memories here as well; I think we won last year as well. So, we can take a bit of confidence that we understand the surface," he said.

With Liam Livingstone and Kagiso Rabada returning home due to injuries, Punjab Kings are expected to make a few changes against Rajasthan. On being asked about the possible playing team, Haddin kept the cards close to his chest.

“There will be a few changes with Livingstone and Rabada returning home. So, we will meet later tonight to finalise the playing squad. It will depend on what happens tonight with the dew and different things like that on the surface," he signed off.



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