Punjab Kings made the right choice by picking Bishnoi: Mark Butcher

Former England batsman Mark Butcher said on Sunday that Punjab Kings had made the right choice by playing young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday, adding that not only is the bowler quicker and flatter through the air but also bring the ball into the right-handers a bit more.

Bishnoi (3/24) and Mohammed Shami (2/14) helped Punjab Kings overcome Sunrisers Hyderabad by five runs in a low-scoring thriller. With this win, Punjab are now at fifth place in the points table.

Having restricted Punjab Kings for 125/7, Sunrisers Hyderabad were hoping to chase the small total successfully. But they had a horror start as David Warner (2) nicked behind to keeper KL Rahul on third ball of the innings. Shami had his second wicket of the match when captain Kane Williamson (1) chopped on to his leg-stump while going for the drive.

This was Sunrisers Hyderabad’s eighth loss of the IPL and they are out of contention for a place in the playoffs.

“Bishnoi was interesting. They (PBKS) went for a more Rashid Khan sort of leg-spinner – quicker through the air, flatter, has balls turning back into the right-handers a bit more than the big leg-break that Adil Rashid bowls. On that surface, it was a perfect choice. Needed somebody to push it through; not let the batters to get underneath you and hit you out of the park and he did that brilliantly,” Butcher said on cricket.com.

Stung by the two-run loss to Rajasthan Royals in the previous match, Punjab Kings brought back Bishnoi into the playing XI in place of Adil Rashid and the leg-spinner ended up taking the wickets of Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey and Abdul Samad.

Butcher also praised Mohammed Shami, who got rid of the dangerous David Warner and Kane Williamson at the top, finishing with figures of 2/14.

“He (Shami) is a quality bowler. If you can run up and hit a decent length and he tends to be fuller than most, attacking the stumps. On a pitch where you’re entirely sure if the ball is going to come on to the bat, whether it’s going to grip or not, he’s going to cause you problems. He is high class. You get him on a deck like that, he is going to be very difficult to repel in the early overs, unless you are full of confidence and you’re very powerful,” said Butcher.

Punjab Kings batsman Aiden Markram too was all praise for Bishnoi. “Incredible. It is amazing how he (Bishnoi) is still so young and yet his skill set is just on another level. I really think he is just going to go from strength to strength,” Markram said in the post-match press conference.

“If you look at the bowling unit as a whole, they were brilliant. Shami started off with wickets in the powerplay, which is always crucial in defending a low score. And then for the two spinners — (Harpreet) Brar and Bish (Bishnoi) — to bowl the way they did was amazing,” Markram said.