Following Kings XI Punjab’s second successive defeat, Aakash Chopra has opined that their decision to play Jimmy Neesham, who isn’t a match-winner has backfired on them. Chopra also stated that KL Rahul should be looking to bring in Mujeeb-ur-Rahman instead of Neesham in the team.
Kings XI Punjab’s drastic collapse after a strong show in their second game lies down to a plethora of reasons. Their over-reliance on the top-order, lack of exhibition from the middle-order and a chaotic selection of bowlers, mismatched for the match-ups have cost them two straight games in a row. In particular, the need for another all-rounder, in the form of Jimmy Neesham has irked not only the fans but also former Indian opener-now-turned cricket expert Aakash Chopra.
The former Indian opener has opined that KXIP should stop playing the Kiwi all-rounder, who according to him is clearly not a ‘match-winner.’ In between the games, the franchise have moved on from the likes of Chris Jordan to Jimmy Neesham without even giving them a long-run while they have had their faith in fragile batsman such as Karun Nair.
“They play Neesham, an overseas fast bowler, who neither bowls in the powerplay nor in the death overs. He is neither a great finisher nor a big batsman who bats in the top four or five. So why is Kings XI Punjab playing him? You are playing a player who is not really a match-winner,” Chopra said on his Youtube channel, reported Hindustan Times.
KL Rahul and the management have also been too frantic in terms of selection of bowlers, with Krishnappa Gowtham getting the nod ahead of Murugan Ashwin. Combined with Rahul’s decision to bowl the off-spinner in the 20th over ultimately cost them the game against Mumbai, which has irked one and all. Instead, the opener suggested that the franchise must play the Afghan spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, which would bring about a balance in the setup.
“First thing is that Kings XI Punjab is not playing the right team. Honestly, they are the only team in the world where Mujeeb is not able to make it to the playing XI after being in the squad,” Chopra added.
“They bowled Sheldon Cottrell at the start and finished his quota of overs before the 15th over. What sort of bowling is that, you have to get him to the death. Otherwise, who will bowl at the death, Jimmy Neesham and Krishnappa Gowtham with Mohammed Shami.”