KXIP head coach Anil Kumble has asserted that they are trying to build up a solid team and that was the reason behind retaining the core of the squad. He also added that the franchise will look forward to fill up the gaps in the upcoming mini-auction and will try to perform well in 2021 IPL.
Much on the expected lines, Kings XI Punjab released two of their biggest buys, Glenn Maxwell (INR 10.75 crore) and Sheldon Cottrell (INR 8.5 crore), who endured an average 2020 IPL, as they announced the list of their retained players on Wednesday. The perennial under performers of the IPL had failed to reach the final four in the last edition IPL season as well. They retained 16 players of the 25 from their squad with the likes of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi, the core of the side still intact.
They however, let go off Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, Jimmy Neesham, K Gowtham and Karun Nair among renowned names apart from Maxwell and Cottrell. They will enter the auction this time with a remaining purse of INR 53.2 crore. Reflecting on the squad retention list, KXIP's head coach Anil Kumble stated that the plan was to keep the core of the side with few additions in the upcoming auction to strengthen the team and improve their performance.
"The plan was to keep the core team and make sure that players who are part of the last season continue into this season as well. We believe that this group along with whoever we will pick in the auction will be able to turn things around for the side. It is important for us to look to keep the squad similar and hope for a better performance in the coming season," Kumble said in a video posted by the KXIP's official Twitter handle, reported TOI.
He also added that the team is excited to start their preparations for the IPL and is keenly looking forward to new additions in the side.
"After yesterday's historic Test victory in Australia, we are all excited about the result, having said that it is also that time of the year where IPL preparations kick-start for the new season 2021 IPL. So today, we have retained 16 players out of the 25-member squad that we had last season. So, the plan is to fill those gaps in the coming auction so that we will be a solid team going into the 2021 IPL."
Under the captaincy of KL Rahul, KXIP had ended the IPL 2020 season at the sixth spot. The Punjab-based franchise are yet to clinch the IPL trophy after having played all the seasons of the cash-rich league from 2008 onwards.
List of retained players by KXIP: Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Harpeet Brar, Ishan Porel, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin.
Released players: Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, Jimmy Neesham, Hardus Viljoin, K Gowtham, Karun Nair, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tejinder Singh.