IPL 2024: Prabhsimran Singh – The Coming of Age, Facilitated by Dhawan & Yuvraj

IPL 2024: Six years after his IPL debut, Prabhsimran Singh comes of age, courtesy of Shikhar Dhawan & Yuvraj Singh.

6 min read

Had Jonny Bairstow looked over his shoulder when he strode onto the pitch at the Eden Gardens on 26 April, he would have spotted a cacophonous Colosseum of purple and gold. The crowd, supporting Kolkata Knight Riders, and still revelling in what they saw over the last couple of hours – the home team scoring 261 runs – could care very little about what Punjab Kings had up their sleeve.

In a couple of hours, Bairstow would celebrate his second Indian Premier League (IPL) century, guiding Punjab to the highest successful chase in the competition’s history. He eventually ended up with 108 runs in 48 deliveries, but interestingly, 96 of those runs came in the last 38 deliveries.

In his first 10, Bairstow had only scored 12 runs. Yet, Punjab’s score at that point read 69/0 after five overs, for at the other end, orchestrating his own symphony of destruction was a certain Prabhsimran Singh, who, in his sixth IPL season, seems to be finally coming of age.

Learning About the IPL Life, the Hard Way

Barely had Prabhsimran stepped into adulthood when he found himself a contract worth Rs 4.80 crore. At the IPL 2019 auction, the wicketkeeper-batter sparked a three-pronged battle of bids between Punjab Kings, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bengaluru. He was yet to make his senior debut for Punjab, but his potential had already captured the attention of franchises far and wide, having scored 298 runs in a U-23 inter-district tournament recently. The Kings found it justifiable to spend big on whom they then regarded as a teen prodigy.

But soon, Prabhsimran would realise a lucrative contract does not necessarily translate to opportunities aplenty. Despite the initial hype, Prabhsimran found himself on the sidelines for much of the 2019 season, featuring in only a solitary match before being released, only to be signed by Punjab again. This, however, for a much-depreciated price of Rs 55 lakh.


The 23-year-old, however, was not perturbed by the zeroes on his contract, as he tells The Quint:

The price tag has never bothered me, to be honest. Because my price is never in my control, and I believe that one should not worry about the uncontrollables. My focus has always been on working hard. As for the results, I leave it up to god
Prabhsimran Singh

Albeit he has been representing the Kings since 2019, Prabhsimran considers 2023 to be his breakout season, for in the first four editions, he got a combined six opportunities.

This is my sixth year in Punjab, but for the first four seasons, I did not get many opportunities. It was only last year that I started playing regularly. The management also told me that irrespective of how I perform, they will back me and give me chances. Once you know that you are certain to play, you can start thinking about how you can repay the team by winning matches. In that regard, I consider the 2023 season to be my breakout year in IPL.
Prabhsimran Singh

Aggressive by Choice, Not by Strategy

Not only is Prabhsimran Punjab’s second-highest run-scorer in IPL 2024 currently, with 208 runs in nine matches, but he has among the higher strike rates, having accumulated those runs at a strike rate of 163.78.

Despite his explosive numbers, however, Prabhsimran insists that the team hasn't thrust upon him an ultra-aggressive role.

I have not been given any specific role by the team. Instead, I try to give the side momentum by dominating the opponent’s bowlers. But of course, once I get set, I do want to convert the starts into fifties and hundreds.
Prabhsimran Singh

Talking about strike rate, Prabhsimran references his maiden, and to date, solitary IPL century. In a match against Delhi Capitals last season, he had scored only 53 runs in the first 44 deliveries, before accumulating 50 in the next 21.

Strike rate does not concern me. If you see the match where I scored a century last season, I had a very slow start because wickets kept on falling at the other end. But by the end of the knock, my strike rate was very high. It is obvious that if I stay out there in the middle, my strike rate will keep increasing gradually.
Prabhsimran Singh

The Bond With Shikhar Dhawan

In his first four seasons for the Punjab Kings, Prabhsimran played under four captains – Ravichandran Ashwin, Glenn Maxwell, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. It was only after Shikhar Dhawan was made the captain in 2023 that he found a stable foothold in the team.

Speaking about the veteran batter’s qualities, Prabhsimran says:

Shikhar Dhawan’s biggest quality is that when he backs a youngster, he doesn’t tell him that you need to perform because I’m backing you. Instead, he says to play naturally and execute plans, and if it goes wrong, he is always there to take the blame on him and support you throughout.
Prabhsimran Singh
IPL 2024: Six years after his IPL debut, Prabhsimran Singh comes of age, courtesy of Shikhar Dhawan & Yuvraj Singh.

IPL 2024: Prabhsimran Singh has been a regular at Punjab Kings since Shikhar Dhawan took over captaincy.

(Photo: BCCI)


The ‘Special Role’ of Yuvraj Singh

Shikhar Dhawan is not the sole left-handed Indian great who has had a significant influence on Prabhsimran’s development over the last year. Prior to the 2023 season, he trained with Yuvraj Singh – be it for only a month, but he considers it to be a life-changing transformation.

Yuvraj Singh has played a special role in my career. I have practised with him for only a month, but waisi practice maine aaj tak fir kahin nahin ki (I’ve never had such a practice ever since). Whatever he taught me has been of great help. Even today, whenever I get some time to myself, I practice according to what he had said.
Prabhsimran Singh

Another Yuvraj Singh protégé – Abhishek Sharma – who also is Prabhsimran’s opening partner in the Punjab team, has also been in sublime form in IPL 2024. The Patiala-based player feels success in the domestic circuit is propelling Punjab’s players into impressive performances, as he cherishes Abhishek’s growth.

I have opened the innings for Punjab with Abhishek (Sharma) in over 100 matches, so of course, we share a great bond. We celebrate each other’s success. Now that I see him doing so well, I am very happy for him. I think Punjab winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy played a part in our performances, because when you win a trophy, you have form on your side.
Prabhsimran Singh

The Dream of Making the India Ascent

From the Indian squad that Prabhsimran was a part of at the 2018 Emerging Asia Cup, the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prasidh Krishna became familiar names in the senior team. From the Indian squad that he was a part of at the Asian Games in Hangzhou last year, the likes of Rinku Singh and Shivam Dube now regularly feature in blue.

Prabhsimran has his sight fixed on the ascent, and once he reaches the pinnacle, he does not want to descend ever again.

He concludes by saying:

Every player dreams of wearing the Indian cap. I did get the cap when I was a part of the team at the Asian Games, but to play while wearing the cap is a different feeling altogether. I am working to get to that stage, and I am determined that ek baari pahuchunga wahan pe to neeche nahin aaunga (once I reach that stage, I won’t come down).
Prabhsimran Singh

Rapid Fire With Prabhsimran Singh

Who is the funniest member of the team?

Arshdeep Singh, because he can mix with everyone.

Who is the team DJ?

Arsh, again. He always carries his speaker with him.

Who is always late to meetings?

Everyone comes on time, but among the lot, Arsh comes at the last.

Which Punjab Kings bowler would you pick to bowl a Super Over?

Arsh, because he is a great bowler and also a death-overs specialist.

And who would be your batting partner in a Super Over?

Liam Livingstone.

Who’s the biggest foodie in Punjab Kings?

Kagiso Rabada. He loves Indian food.

Who’s the best dancer?

Harpreet Bhatia.

Who sleeps the most?

Vishwa Pratap Singh, our very own VP. He is from Punjab too.

Who’s the biggest gyaani in the team?

None. No one gives gyaan, saare apne mast rahte hain (everyone’s pretty chill).

Describe captain Shikhar Dhawan in one word.

In one word – everything.

Who’s your best friend in the team?

There are plenty. If you want me to name a few, then Arsh and Harpreet Brar. But there are others as well.

Your biggest inspiration?

I have always been inspired by Virender Sehwag, I’ve been a fan of him since childhood. If I get an opportunity, I would love to speak with him.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Scoring a century in the IPL.

Which record would you like to break?

All records are made to be broken, I would love to break any of them. But I want to start with me. I scored one century last season, I want to score more this year.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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