My god the thought of berating Kings XI Punjab, in itself, is funny. I mean, think about it: why would someone waste their time ranting about Punjab of all teams? You wanna know how seriously they take themselves? Alright. They once appointed Murali Vijay as their full-time captain.
This rant will be different compared to the rest, simply because of the fact it’s gonna come from the mouth of a Kings XI Punjab fan. Am I a hardcore? Heck no. Anyone who takes pride in calling themselves a ‘Hardcore KXIP fan’ should reevaluate their life morals and principles. But yes, a Gilchrist there and a Maxwell here did sway me towards this club. Couldn’t be worse than supporting Arsenal, I thought. I was wrong.
Your team: Kings XI 'Punchbags'
Your 2019 record
Finished 6th with 12 points after winning 4 of your first 6 matches. Okay, to rephrase, your team won just two of its last 8 games in the competition and marginally escaped finishing bottom after having gunned for a top-two spot in the first half of the tournament.
Jeez, where do I begin? I tried and tried and tried, so hard, yet I wasn’t able to find a single silver lining from your entire 2019 season. That’s how disgustingly bad you lot were. On a serious note, how the f*** does a team lose 75% of their matches in the second half of the campaign for TWO SEASONS IN A ROW? Oh, wait! I know how, by boasting a tactically inept captain whose ego is bigger than his skillset. Remember how y’all thought how roping in Ashwin as captain was the masterstroke of the century? Haha, the move worked wonders, didn’t it? He inherited a team of lemons and washouts and somehow made it even worse, attracted bad PR and made it all about himself with the mankad controversy and conveniently f****d off to Delhi after running the team to the ground. Lovely.
In retrospect, though, Ashwin is not ought to blame completely. Have you seen KXIP? A team filled with no-hopers and mentally frail, brittle catastrophes. Did Preity Zinta & Co. seriously think that a finished Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mandeep Singh, David Miller and Ankit Rajpoot were going to help the franchise reach the playoffs, let alone win the title? You know what, Preity should, in fact, consider herself lucky. If it were up to me, I’d have sent Punjab into administration for spending a combined sum of 13.20 crore on Varun Chakravarthy and PrabhSimran Singh only to feature them in TWO MATCHES.
I would really have talked about and critiqued your team strategy if there was one, but I don’t consider “Ask Ashwin to verbally abuse everyone to make KXIP look like tough b*stards” a valid ploy, sorry.
Well, this ought to belong to Rahul, but I figured Gayle is the ‘real MVP’ in the eyes of the management. Why-oh-why would you cling on so desperately to a 40-year-old man who provides no flexibility to the team whatsoever? Ugh. Look, Gayle is a great batsman, no refuting, but the IPL isn’t meant for freeloaders who want to treat the tournament like a pastime. Not anymore, at least. You know what, eff it, I’m gonna say it: I’m sick and tired of part-timers like Gayle using their reputation as leverage to bully franchises into making them an integral part of the team to ‘occasionally’ show up at the cost of an equally-able long-term investment who’d be willing to bust his arse out day in and day out. There’s a reason why 7 teams didn’t bother to bid for Gayle; this isn’t the Bangladesh Premier League, folks.
Do I think Gayle is an absolute monster who can guarantee the team 3 wins per season through brute power? Absolutely. But do you know what else I think Gayle is? A liability on the field and in-between wickets, a choker in big matches, a slow-starter who ends up putting enormous pressure on his teammates every time he fails (which is over 70% of the time, btw) and an extremely one-dimensional, inflexible, narcissistic commodity who only cares about his own needs and reputation. Put simply, especially given he’s past his prime, a red-flag if you’re an ambitious side.
RCB saw the light and did away with him - they’re stupid to have not capitalized on it, that’s something else - but it’s a shame that you lot are still living in the f*cking stone ages. Good luck telling Pooran this season that he has to sit out games in order to accommodate an insecure 40-year-old whose ego wouldn’t allow him to carry drinks.
What’s new that sucks
I’m still in hysterics over the fact that someone in the hierarchy, with a straight face, proposed Krishnappa Gowtham as Ravi Ashwin’s replacement and actually got their suggestion approved. I’m sincerely hoping ‘that’ person did it for the LOLs. Look, I don’t want to be a d***head, but Gowtham’s last credible performance came in a league of amateurs half of who are currently in prison, okay? If you want to fool yourself that the coup of a player who took 4 wickets in 7 SMAT games and scored 67 runs is ‘excellent’ just because it’s cost-effective then sure, go ahead.
But you know what’s new that sucks? THERE IS NOTHING NEW. They did what they do all the friggin time: overload the team with power-hitters and ex-players (Maxwell, Simran Singh), sign a bunch of Karnataka/ex-RCB guys (Gowtham, Suchith, Jordan) and show their love for bits and pieces T20 cricketers (Hooda, Neesham).
The worst part? They FAILED to address their biggest issue. There was one hole that Punjab needed to fill first and foremost. ONE HOLE. They needed an experienced Indian pacer who knew the tricks of the trade-in T20 cricket. But no, they went ahead and purchased Ishan Porel, a kid with NO IPL EXPERIENCE, and so once again they will start this season with Mohammad Shami as their spearhead, despite him showing for 2 seasons that T20 cricket IS NOT his cup of tea.
At least with Ashwin, thanks to his antics, we were guaranteed some entertainment whilst Punjab bowled but now with him gone, I guess we’d have to settle for 120 deliveries of KL Rahul trying to control his tears whilst his bowlers are being thwarted around. And oh, given the IPL is being played in the UAE, guess we need to brace ourselves for the commentators prattling about Maxwell and KXIP’s 2014 campaign like a broken f*cking record.
What has always sucked
Your team’s existence in the competition. I’d outrightly be lying if I said that I’ve seen a franchise more toothless and ambitionless than Kings XI Punjab. You lot never had a vision, you are by some distance the weakest (marketing) brand in the competition and despite now being present for 12 years, you’ve had the same impact in the competition as Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Remind me why you exist again? You had one opportunity, a god-given chance, to turn things around and make the franchise relevant but you blew it and how.
All you needed was to capitalize and build on the 2014 boom but what did you do the following season? Retained a 37-year-old Sehwag who was already on his last legs, added ZERO big names to complement Miller and Maxwell and instead brought in Murali Vijay, who’d averaged 18, 22 and 25 in his three previous seasons in the competition. It’s beyond belief how appalling, inept and incompetent Punjab’s management is. I see this season you’ve thrown everything at the wall to see if something sticks, by bringing in Maxwell, Cottrell, Jordan and Bishnoi, but regardless of whether the gamble clicks or not, safe to say you can rest assured knowing that your team won’t do jack to build on this campaign when the 2021 Mega auction beckons.
What might not suck
Your skipper KL Rahul, your only saving grace. He is transforming into a T20 GOAT so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he single-handedly carries you to the knockouts.