In the aftermath of finishing outside the top four, Ness Wadia has admitted that the international players for KXIP didn’t quite perform to the expected level. He also credited KL Rahul’s captaincy, admitting that he performed exceptionally well while hinting that Gayle will play for them in 2021.
When Kings XI Punjab secured the services of Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for 10.75 crores, it sent ripples across the table for the other teams, with an already set top-order for the franchise. Alongside that, the addition of West Indian pacer, Sheldon Cottrell strengthened their bowling attack, making them a team to look out for the 2020 IPL. However, the results, from the first game was evidently missing in the first half, before it was too late in the season.
To the credit of the franchise, KL Rahul’s season was record-breaking, both in terms of his runs at the top of the order and his captaincy efforts. With the host of their international players, stars such as Maxwell, Cottrell and Jimmy Neesham underperforming, the franchise had to look in for domestic options, in Deepak Hooda, Arshdeep Singh, who all gave them immediate results. KXIP’s co-owner Ness Wadia admitted that the foreign stars didn’t perform to the expected levels.
“The international players did not perform to the expected level,” Wadia told PTI. reported Hindustan Times.
“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. KL has been with us for three years and there was a reason why we went after him so aggressively. He has proved us right,” he added.
While the team management were adamant on not picking Chris Gayle for a better team combination, once Gayle was picked in the tournament, the franchise found themselves in a run of a purple patch, where they started winning a lot of games. Gayle ended up scoring 299 runs in the tournament, at an average of 41.14, including a high-score of 99.
“The team management did what it thought was best for the team. It is important to back experienced players and Gayle has demonstrated that he should play every game next season,” he credited Gayle.
Wadia also rued the fact that three of KXIP’s 2019 stars - Sam Curran, Varun Chakravarthy and T Natarajan found themselves success in other franchises.
“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,” he stated.
KXIP’s co-owner also hinted the future of the franchise, revealing that they would be looking to plug the gaps in their fragile middle-order and their bowling unit, which at times looked bleak.
“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 Wadia.