"He Seemed Suffocated...": Harbhajan Singh Picks India Star's Form As "Most Shocking Moment" Of IPL 2022
Mayank Agarwal was not at his free-flowing best in IPL 2022 and Harbhajan Singh said that he came under pressure after getting captaincy.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 saw the rise of many emerging stars, while some reputed names could not meet the expectations. The franchise cricket league also got a new champion in the Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans. However, one team that could not find consistency and did not qualify for the playoffs was Punjab Kings. The Mayank Agarwal-led side looked quite a strong team on paper after the mega-auction but ultimately finished sixth in the table with seven wins in 14 games. The skipper Mayank, who took over from KL Rahul, was also off-colour with his batting.
The 31-year-old Mayank endured a tough season scoring 196 runs in 13 games at an average of just 16.33. He scored just one half-century. This was one of his worst IPL seasons.
"If we talk about Mayank, I felt that 'What has happened to him?' He is such a good player. After getting captaincy, I think he was mentally under pressure. From opening he went down to No. 4. The team was being led from the outside. He is just taking everything. He seemed suffocated. He should have been given freedom. He has been under the radar and surely that could have been a little better," Harbhajan told Sportskeeda Cricket when asked to pick the 'most shocking moment' of IPL 2022.
Earlier, former India spinner Piyush Chawla felt that the leadership role has affected Mayank's batting, saying that "captaincy isn't for everyone". Agarwal replaced KL Rahul as Punjab Kings' skipper ahead of the IPl 2022. After scoring 441 runs at an average of 40.09 in IPL 2021, the opening batter could not replicate the success.
"The way he performed (last year), they (Punjab Kings) showed a lot of trust in him, retained him too but he couldn't stand true to it. I don't think he had much prior experience of captaincy whether in domestic cricket or with India 'A' and that was visible here. The pressure of captaincy is different and it was clearly visible in his batting as well as how he used to look a bit edgy on the field. Captaincy isn't for everyone and it showed clearly here," Piyush Chawla said during an interaction on ESPNcricinfo.