Ness Wadia, Kings XI Punjab co-owner took the names of T Natarajan and Varun Chakravarthy who were released by the franchise besides hoping they had stuck with all-rounder Sam Curran, who proved to one of the best all-round performers in what turned out to be CSK’s worst-ever season.
Kings XI Punjab were 6th in the points table with 6 wins and 8 losses finishing on 12 points. Still, despite excellent performances by KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Shami besides Chris Gayle’s inclusion in playing XI which saw them come back to winning ways, they couldn’t qualify for playoffs.
Ness Wadia Praises KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami Besides Youngsters Nicholas Pooran, Ravi Bishnoi And Arshdeep Singh
Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia was impressed with the performance of youngsters like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh too who stood up and displayed standout performances in the recently-concluded IPL but also rued letting go of exciting talents who shone in the 13th edition of the tournament for other franchises.
“Rahul captained exceedingly well and gained in confidence with each game. We are lucky to have him. Shami has been brilliant too and has adjusted brilliantly to the T20 format. Pooran and the young Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh too performed well,” Wadia told PTI.
Ravi Bishnoi took 12 wickets in 14 games while Arshdeep Singh took 9 wickets in 8 games averaging 24.22. Among batsmen, Nicholas Pooran accumulated 353 runs in 14 games. In comparison, KL Rahul was the orange cap winner by virtue of scoring maximum 670 runs in 14 games while Mayank Agarwal scored 424 runs in 11 appearances.
Leaving aside youngsters, Chris Gayle scored 288 runs in 7 games and pacer Mohammed Shami took 20 wickets in 14 games averaging 23.
KXIP had the services of T Natarajan (now playing for SRH) and Varun Chakravarthy (now playing for KKR) in the past, but they let them go. Ness Wadia took their names also hoped they had stuck with Sam Curran, who proved to one of the best all-round performers scoring 186 runs and taking 13 wickets in 14 games.
“Imagine if we had those players, Sam Curran (CSK) also but again it is all in hindsight. Each coach who comes in has a thought process and a manner in conducting himself like any other CEO of a company.
“One has to allow them time to settle, provide stability and allow them to make mistakes and learn from them and take the team forward,” said Ness Wadia.
It was a roller-coaster ride for KXIP in this IPL where they lost six out of their first seven games before winning five in a row to storm back into play-off contention. The KL Rahul-led side needed to win its last league game against Chennai Super Kings to reach the top-four but it couldn’t.
Ness Wadia: International Players Like Glenn Maxwell And Sheldon Cottrell Didn’t Perform According To Expectations
Looking back at the recently-concluded IPL 2020 season, Ness Wadia said the umpiring error to call a short-run when it wasn’t, probably cost the team a playoff berth. However, it did not show the required consistency in the first year under captain and coach combination of KL Rahul and Anil Kumble.
“It is a new captain, new team with a lot of fresh faces, sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t. The auction is coming up soon and we would be looking to plug the gaps in the middle-order and our bowling,” said Ness Wadia.
“The international players did not perform to the expected level,” he said referring to the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cottrell, for whom KXIP paid big money at last year’s auction.
Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cottrell failed to perform as expected. Glenn Maxwell, who had a great IPL 2014, the last time IPL was played in UAE, failed this time around miserably managing 108 runs and three wickets in 13 games averaging a dismal 15.42 with bat and 56.33 with the ball.
Sheldon Cottrell took 6 wickets in 6 games averaging 29.33 but was too expensive. The other failures were Mandeep Singh(130 runs in 7 games) and Karun Nair (16 runs in four games).