Kings XI Punjab has made some brave calls to swell their purse for the upcoming auction, so they are well capable of making some big moves in the upcoming auction.
When player retention lists were released by all the IPL teams ahead of the upcoming mega auction, Kings XI Punjab managed to surprise everyone. In an unexpected decision, they released two of their biggest buys from the last auction; Glenn Maxwell (Rs 10.75 crore) and Sheldon Cottrell (Rs 8.5 crore).
Although Maxwell’s performance in IPL 2020 was disappointing to say the least, his current form for Melbourne Stars in the BBL made it seem like the IPL franchise may after all retain the player. However, KXIP released the Australian All-rounder, which gave them a monetary advantage over every other team. As they released their most expensive players along with the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, K Gowtham and Karun Nair, the franchise has managed to enhance its purse. With Rs 53.2 crore, Punjab has a bigger purse than all the other teams.
As per the statemen tfrom Anil Kumble, the team’s head coach, KXIP retained the core of the team with KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, and Ishan Porel. All they need now is to fill the remaining gaps. There aren’t many spots left in the squad which now makes the team capable of bringing the best options with the immense amount of money they have.
Now here is what KXIP needs
KXIP is going into the auction with nine spots open, including five for the overseas players. Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, and Chris Jordan are the only three overseas players that have been retained. So, who should they target?
With Maxwell gone, they will need an effective middle-order finisher. While there is a possibility that they go back to Maxwell, they can also go for someone like Kiwi all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme. In his IPL career, Grandhomme scored 303 runs in 21 innings at a strike rate of 134.67. He has also taken six wickets in the IPL, with his best figures being 3/4. The team can also opt for Moeen Ali, who was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The team will also need a pacer that can do well in death overs and work along with Arshdeep Singh and Chris Jordan. Given the amount of money they have, KXIP can actually get Mitchell Starc. The Australian Speedster, who missed out on an IPL contract in 2020 to prepare for T20 World Cup, will be a hot commodity this auction. Moreover, he would be the perfect replacement for Sheldon Cotrell.
Although they have Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi and Harpreet Brar to hold the spin fort, in the absence of Gowtham, Mujeeb, and J Suchith, the team may need to strengthen their spin attack. They can either go for veterans like Piyush Chawla or Harbhajan Singh or wait for the new entrees in the auction. Anyways, the auction will be a time to shine for the franchise.
Given the amount of money they have in the purse and a strong core of the team already at their disposal, KXIP can pull off some major coups in the auction. Even three match winners in the auction will give the team much needed edge to have a strong chance of winning the tournament.
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