Aakash Chopra has predicted that even without a mega auction for IPL 2021, Kings XI Punjab might end up doing really well in the IPL. However, for that to happen, he opined that Punjab must look at leaving Sheldon Cottrell, Maxwell, and Hardus Viljoen out of the setup for bringing in other players.
Kings XI Punjab endured one of the worst starts in IPL 2020, where they just managed to get two points off their first six games, which also put their campaign under pressure. While their batting, specifically, top order clicked in the early part of the campaign, their bowling lacked the firepower, with Sheldon Cottrell misfiring. In the second half, the middle-order was a no-show in the IPL, as Glenn Maxwell, Jimmy Neesham never really arrived at the IPL party with the bat.
With reports still unclear over the mega auction, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has predicted that Kings XI Punjab might still end up doing well in the 2021 IPL without a mega auction. However, for the same, the opener suggested that they should do away with two-three big names, to free up their purse.
“Kings XI Punjab might still be able to manage without a mega auction but they will have to do a good selection in the small auction and if they drop those 2-3 big names, they would get a bigger purse to shop wholeheartedly,” said Chopra in his video segment – Aakash Vani.
The former Indian opener suggested that Maxwell’s form was a clear issue for the franchise, and they should be looking to replace him for a finisher. He also added that it was a similar case with Cottrell and Neesham, which really frees up their purse going into the next year’s IPL.
“Kings XI Punjab have a reasonable need of a mega auction because they need changes. They have to do something for the fast bowling unit because it will not work out with the ones they have. They should leave out Sheldon Cottrell, they should leave Hardus Viljoen also if they are not playing him, and they should leave Maxwell as well,” suggested Chopra in the video.
Luckily for the franchise, a 41-year-old Chris Gayle firing in the middle-order came as a piece of good news, which resurrected their campaign, as they made a late surge to reach the playoff stage before falling flat. Chopra suggested that they should continue to have the left-handed West Indian as an X-factor and an intimidating factor in their setup.
“They can keep Gayle if he wants to play although he is 41-years old. But the IPL is just a few months away and he was not expensive as well. So they can keep him as he is an X-factor and an intimidating factor,” he added.