The euphoria of season 14 comes with Punjab Kings taking a tough call in the Indian Premier League T20 as the crumbling factor is evident in the auction stage itself. The breadbox culture is stingingly rich in Punjab Kings performance as too often an explosive batting line-up was undone by some loose bowling.
Ignoring Gayle’s five deliveries, only Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin finished with an economy rate below eight. Mohammed Shami’s return is welcome by he hasn’t bowled a ball since before Christmas.
Richardson and Meredith are high class in their own conditions but this is their first step into the big bad world of the IPL.
Having missed out on Kyle Jamieson, Moeen Ali and Chris Morris, Kings were clearly keen on adding an explosive bowling allrounder. Moises Henriques and Fabian Allen are entrusted with filling the role.
WinDaddy’s expert team has discovered that there are hardly any major strengths in the team worth even mentioning for the intrest of the viewers as it will be premature to cast any aspersions on the bowling order, without witnessing their authentic performance in the present season which is really a hard nut to crack as of now.
Captain: KL Rahul
Coach: Anil Kumble
Best finish: Runners-up (2014)
Last season: Sixth
Chris Gayle: Very simply the greatest T20 runscorer in history (13,720). No tournament or team is complete without the West Indies titan. Scorer of three of the biggest 20-over knocks of all time, including the highest in history for RCB eight years ago.
And if there was any fear that in his 40s, Universe Boss would start slowing down last term’s 288 runs in seven innings, which including becoming the first player to record 1,000 sixes in the format.
Jhye Richardson: If it wasn’t for Chris Morris, perhaps the Australia seamer’s move to Kings would have garnered more attention. Richardson admits he is still finding his way after shoulder reconstruction and has never previously featured in the IPL, yet Anil Kumble saw him fit to part 14crore with.
Nicholas Pooran: Given the velocity that the West Indies batter’s star is rising, his performances in the UAE were rather underwhelming, at least with the bat.
Three hundred and fifty-three runs at 35.50 was a decent return, but the 25-year-old is no ordinary player. This is the campaign where Pooran can truly elevate himself from world class to superstardom. That can start with an improvement in the T20 Player Index, where he sits 23rd and is among one of the highest ranked outright batters in the standings.
Riley Meredith: The Tasmania quick enjoyed a fine fortnight either side of the start of March, being picked up for his first overseas franchise contract and then making his long-awaited Australia debut in the T20 series against New Zealand.
More than just Shane Warne’s favourite, Meredith is starting to add substance to his glowing reputation (and extraordinary moustache). This will be his first trip to Asia as a senior pro, At 8crore he was the most expensive uncapped overseas player acquired at the auction. That might prove to be a snip in years to come.
WinDaddy feels that Punjab Kings have to streach its elbow space to bounce back in the tournament without any glitches.