IPL 2022: Mayank Agarwal is a true team man and leader, says Sanjay Manjrekar after PBKS captain sacrifices opening spot

Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar heaped rich praise on Mayank Agarwal, saying the Punjab Kings captain is a ‘true team man’, highlighting the selfless act from the star India batter to sacrifice his opening spot for the good of the team.

As Manjrekar points out, Mayank Agarwal has been hugely successful at the top of the order for Punjab Kings in IPL. having scored in excess of 400 runs at a strike rate of over 130 in IPL 2020 and IPL 2021 for the former finalists.

Mayank was promoted as captain of PBKS at the start of IPL 2022 after KL Rahul decided to move away and find a new home in Lucknow Super Giants.

IPL 2022: Full Coverage

While Mayank began opening with new-recruit and senior batter Shikhar Dhawan, the PBKS skipper sacrificed his opening spot to allow Jonny Bairstow to partner with Dhawan at the top of the order. The move has worked in favour of PBKS as Bairstow, who began his IPL 2022 campaign on a shaky note, recovered with 2 fifites in their last 2 matches.

On Friday, Bairstow tore into the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling unit in their must-win IPL 2022 match at the Braborne Stadium, smashing 66 in just 29 balls as PBKS posted 209/9 before sealing a 54-run victory. Mayank batted at No. 5 and hit 14 runs towards the end overs.

“Want to see a true team man/leader? Look no further than Mayank Agarwal, sacrificing the opening position at which he has been hugely successful to offer Bairstow the best chance to flourish.

“So along with ‘well played’ Jonny, let’s also say well done Mayank!” Manjrekar said in a social media post after PBKS defeated RCB to stay alive in the playoffs race.

PBKS head coach Anil Kumble, speaking to Star Sports on Friday, also highlighted that it was not easy for Mayank to drop himself down the order but that it was a collective decision from the skipper and the team management.

“We felt that we needed an experienced guy in the middle as well with Levy, JItesh and Rishi. So Jonny went up the order and he has done a brilliant job. His intent in the powerplay is amazing and the way he sort of took the game away from RCB in the first overs that set the done,” Kumble said.

PBKS, who are the 6th spot with 12 points from as many games, next face Delhi Capitals in Navi Mumbai on Monday, May 15.

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