Kings XI Punjab, the only IPL team to have reached the IPL semi-finals or qualifiers only once in the previous six editions whereas the other teams had managed it twice. They are also the only IPL team who is yet to play in the Champions league T20. They are the usual suspects in the mid table musical chairs of the IPL points table. With their captain from last season Adam Gilchrist along with the coach Darren Lehmann won’t be available for the Kings XI outfit for the upcoming season of the IPL. With this, the team is set for a big overhaul.
In the player’s retention, they played it smart by retaining big hitting South African David Miller and an uncapped Indian in Manan Vohra. With just two retentions, Kings XI have a luxury of two Joker Cards and a purse of Rs. 43.5 Million for the auctions. Their auction purse makes Kings XI one of the favourite for making a big signing. Let’s have a look at the players who the Kings XI will look to sign in the upcoming auctions.
With Adam Gilchrist retiring from all forms of cricket, Kings XI will look to strengthen their top order. It is more likely that they will look to sign a dashing opening batsman and there is no doubt that Aussie Aaron Finch will be in the Kings XI radar. Finch is a type of batsman who goes hard at the bowlers and loves playing for a majority of the given 20 overs. His record in T20 looks impressive and he also holds the record for the highest ever score by a batsman in International T20’s. With the amount of money Kings XI have, it is certain that they will go behind Finch in the player’s auction.
The fast bowling is an area of concern for the Kings XI outfit in the previous editions of IPL. Playing their home games in two venues where the pitch offers something for the pacers in India, the team failed to have some quality pacers in the team. He lacked a bowler who bowls fast and possessed the ability to lead a bowling attack from the front. Mumbai Indians’ decision not to retain Mitchell Johnson might work in Kings XI favour. Kings XI will look to sign Johnson but only if the Mumbai Indians opt not use the Joker Card for Johnson.
There are few players who enjoyed more success with their International teams and failed to replicate the success with their IPL side. Ross Taylor is one such player. Having represented for RCB, RR, DD and PWI in the IPL, the Kiwi dasher failed to show some consistency. The Kings XI team management will look to strengthen their middle order and with a player like Taylor in the auction pool, it will a big bonus for the Punjab outfit if they manage to sign Taylor. This will reduce the burden of David Miller in the middle overs and the slog overs.
Last year by this time, Corey Anderson was just a household name in the New Zealand’s domestic circuit. But one knock on the New Year day changed the fortunes of this man who is wanted by almost all the eight franchises in the IPL. Corey will bring the much needed balance in the Kings XI line-up. He is a kind of player who can go after the bowling right from the world go and can be a threat to the opposition in the last few overs of an innings. He is also a decent bowler who has the ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
Apart from these players, Kings XI will also look to sign a capable wicket keeper along with a couple of Indian bowlers who can bring stability to their bowling line-up. As far as their Joker Card is concerned, it is likely that they will look to get back their premier player Shaun Marsh along with Praveen Kumar or David Hussey.
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