The INDIAN T20 LEAGUE 2020 auction is just 24 hours away. 186 Indian and 146 overseas players‘ fate in the cash rich league will be decided on December 19th in Kolkata. A total of 997 players had initially registered but the final list has been clipped down to 332 after the eight franchises submitted the names of their shortlisted players.
All the franchises have prepared their strategies to pick the best players in the upcoming auction. So today, we shall be looking at the strategies of Punjab ahead of the big auction.
We analyse what are the area of concerns for the team, how KXIP should approach the auctions, and identifying potential candidates they could look out for.
Despite having big overseas players, Punjab hasn’t laid its hands on the coveted trophy once. They came close to it in 2014 but they lost a tense final to Kolkata. Punjab so far has tried out 11 captains in 12 seasons but their fate didn’t change.
Last year, under the leadership of R.Ashwin, Punjab hoped for a turn around. The team looked good in the first half of the tournament. Punjab won 4 out their first 5 games to reach to the top of the points table but the team went downhill from there.
They tried to infuse fresh ideas, got themselves involved in ugly off-field spats, but nothing changed. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs.
This year, the franchise has decided to build their team from the scratch. Punjab franchise is looking to undergo a massive revamp.
They have released some big players and will go into the auction as the team with the highest purse remaining.
Punjab part ways with former captain Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin was traded to Delhi Capitals for J Suchith. The team also got Krishnappa Gowtham from Rajasthan Royals for Ankit Rajpoot.
With Anil Kumble as head coach, Punjab surely have a great think tank and mentor to take them in to right direction.
List of retained and released players
Retained: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, K Gowtham, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande
Released: David Miller, Andrew Tye, Sam Curran, Moises Henriques, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi and Varun Chakravarthy.
Available Slots: 9
Foreign Players slot: 4
Purse remaining: INR 42.70 crore
Areas of concern
Punjab has been struggling with the leadership for the past 5 years. They tried almost every player but nothing worked. Ashwin led the team in the last two seasons but he is also gone. The franchise will look for a proper and prominent leader in the upcoming auction.
Fragile middle order
Their top order was in good form last year but their middle order was a concern for them. Miller was not at his best last season and the Proteas batsman couldn’t finish games for the team. Now, with Miller being released, KXIP will look for a proper middle-order batsman who can play the role of a finisher for them in the squad.
Another concern for Punjab is the pace department. Australian seamer Andrew Tye and Sam Curran were good in patches but couldn’t provide proper support to Shami. Shami did well in the last season of 2019 but the release of Tye, Curran has brought many vacancies in the pace bowling department ahead of the 2020 auctions.
Players Punjab might target
Overseas: Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Carlos Brathwaite.
Indian: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Srikar Bharat, G Periyaswamy.