Kings XI Punjab are one of those franchises that have threatened to claim the IPL trophy from time to time. But they’ve never really found the right balance in their squad, and that has often caused their downfall all these years. The closest they came to the crown was in 2014 when the Kolkata Knight Riders got the better of them in the finals.
The Retained Bunch
Needless to mention, the franchise has retained the successful opening pair of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle along with 14 others. The West Indian big-hitter is still a hot property in the league and much of the team’s success depends on his form. On the other hand, Rahul has become a much better T20 player and his camaraderie with Gayle keeps the team mojo alive.
Besides, Rahul could also be a serious contender for captaincy, now that R Ashwin has moved on to the Delhi Capitals.
Full list of retained players: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, K Gowtham (trade), Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith (trade), Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande
The released ones
Despite the presence of a thinking captain in R Ashwin, Kings XI Punjab finished sixth on the points table in the previous season. Ahead of the trading window for the 2020 auctions, the franchise released their skipper in search of a better captaincy candidate. Along with Ashwin, they’ve also let go of seven other players, including veteran David Miller.
Full list of released players: David Miller, Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthy, Andrew Tye, Sam Curran, Agnivesh Ayachi, Prabsimran Singh.
Remaining purse & Auction strategy
Kings XI Punjab have managed to squeeze in INR 42.70 crore, the biggest purse among all the IPL franchises. They now have nine slots available, four of which have to be filled by overseas players and five will belong to Indians. While their batting order packs a punch at the top, it’s the middle order that looks weaker without a proper all-rounder. The franchise will have to be extremely cautious with their spends but at the same time go for game-changers in the upcoming auctions. They do have a bunch of fast bowlers on the bench but they’ll also need a couple of senior pacers in the team to complement Mohammed Shami.