Kagiso Rabada and Liam Livingstone will be missing in action when an already-eliminated Punjab Kings takes the field against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, assistant coach Brad Haddin confirmed during the pre-match press conference at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Their absence might open up the window for players, who haven’t got much game time this season, to get a look-in.

“Yeah, there will be (changes to the Playing XI). We know Rabada’s gone home injured, so we’ve got to find a replacement. Liam Livingstone has also been called back by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board). There’ll be a change there also. We’ll meet later tonight to finalise the 11 or 12 that we’ll go in with. Tomorrow’s game is about going out there and expressing oneself. We are out of the tournament, which is disappointing, but it’s still another opportunity for the younger guys and the team to develop,” Haddin said.

READ | RR vs PBKS, IPL 2024: Tottering Rajasthan Royals looks to make the playoffs against Punjab Kings

Seems like Ashutosh Sharma has earned himself a new nickname in the dugout – ‘Smashertosh’! And with Shashank Singh alongside him, the duo forms a deadly combo in the death overs. Shashank has scored 116 runs at a mind-boggling strike rate of 236.73 between the 16th and 20th overs in 2024, while Ashutosh has scored 94 at a strike rate of 200.00.

“Smashertosh and Shashank, with both of those guys… Shashank more so… What has impressed us about him from day one is his willingness to learn and score runs under pressure. There are different times in games where you can score runs, but I think the one thing Shashank’s done is he scored the runs under pressure and put us in positions to win the game. So, I think that’s the most pleasing thing about Shashank’s development through the tournament,” the 46-year-old Aussie said. 

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