Punjab Kings – IPL 2021 Preview

Punjab Kings – IPL 2021 Preview
23.03.2021,13:03 118 0

Punjab Kings, previously known as Kings XI Punjab, is a Mohali-based franchise of the Indian Premier League established in 2008. Punjab Kings’ home ground is PCA Stadium, Mohali, and they occasionally play their home matches in Dharamsala and Indore since 2010. The franchise is owned by four partners, Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta and Karan Paul. Let’s have a look at their journey in the IPL, top performers, auctions and key players for the IPL 2021.

Through the Years in IPL

Punjab Kings started well in the inaugural IPL season (2008) under the leadership of their icon player Yuvraj Singh. They finished second on the points table at the end of the league round and eventually lost in the semifinal game to Chennai Super Kings. The Kings did not qualify for the playoffs for the next five seasons, though they marginally missed the place in the top four in the years 2009 and 2011.

In the IPL 2014, under Goerge Bailey’s captaincy, Punjab Kings won 11 league matches in 2015, topped the points table and made their first and only final appearance. Manan Vohra (67 runs) and Wriddhiman Saha (115 runs from 55 balls) played brilliantly as Punjab Kings posted a total of 199 runs before Manish Pandey’s equally marvelous performance for KKR ruined Punjab Kings’ dream. It was indeed their best chance ever as they have never qualified for playoffs since then. They finished at the bottom of the points table in 2015 and 2016. In the IPL 2017 and 2018, they finished fifth and seventh. In the last two seasons, 2019 and 2020, Punjab Kings finished sixth.

Yuvraj Singh and George Bailey are their most successful captains in terms of winning percentage ratio. Yuvraj Singh led Punjab Kings in 29 IPL matches, out of which Kings won 17 and lost 12 (winning percentage of 58.62). George Bailey led the side in 35 IPL matches, from which Punjab Kings won 18 matches and lost 17.  Under KL Rahul’s leadership, Punjab Kings played 14 matches, out of which they won 6 and lost 8 games in the 2020 edition of the IPL.

Overall, Punjab Kings played 190 IPL games, out of which they won 88, lost 102 matches. With a winning percentage of 45.78, they are ranked 8th among 13 different IPL franchises.

Top Players

Some of the greatest players have played for Punjab Kings, while a few domestic players too played splendidly while representing this franchise. Mohammad Shami has been the highest wicket-taker for Kings Punjab in the 2019 and 2020 seasons with 19 and 20 wickets respectively. Andrew Tye’s 24 wickets in the IPL 2018 is the most ever achieved by a Punjab Kings bowler in a tournament. Sandeep Sharma remained the top wicket-taker three times, in 2014, 2016 and 2017, taking 50 wickets across these three seasons. Shaun Marsh (616 runs) and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (19 wickets) helped the franchise to reach the semifinal in the inaugural IPL. Glenn Maxwell’s 552 runs in the IPL 2014 led the franchise to the final.

David Miller was the top scorer in 2013 and 2015 with 418 and 357 runs. The year 2016 went to Murali Vijay for his class batting for 453 runs while Hasim Amla scored 420 runs and topped the chart for Punjab Kings in 2017. One player who stands out here is KL Rahul. His overall performance is better than that of any other Punjab Kings batsmen. He has been the top scorer for his franchise for the last three seasons. He scored 659 runs in the IPL 2018, 593 runs in 2019 and 670 runs in 2020. On the list of the most runs for Punjab Kings, Shaun Marsh is placed first with 2477 runs, followed by David Miller (1974 runs) and KL Rahul (1922 runs).

IPL 2021 Auction

At the onset of the auction, Punjab Kings were looking for overseas all-rounders and overseas fast bowlers. They wanted Chris Morris and offered INR 16 crore but eventually lost him to Rajasthan Royals who won the bid with INR 16.25 crore. The franchise spent heavily on Australian fast bowlers Jhye Richardson (INR 14 crore) and Riley Meredith (INR 8 crore). They also roped in overseas all-rounders Moises Henriques and Fabian Allen, along with domestic player Jalaj Saxena. They got an Indian finisher in the form of Shahrukh Khan (INR 5.25 crore).

They retained a good number of 16 people, including star performers KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Shami and Nicholas Pooran. The only gap they have now is a backup for Indian pacer Mohammad Shami. Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cottrell are among the players who have been released. Maxwell was bought for a whopping INR 10.75 crore but his performance in the IPL 2020 remained poor compared to his price tag. They are still left with a good amount of money, INR 18.80 crore, most of which came from the release of Glenn Maxwell.

Players RetainedPlayers Left out
KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, and Prabhsimran Singh.Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Zadran, Hardus Viljoen, James Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Karun Nair, Jagadeesha Suchith, and Tejinder Singh Dhillon.

Here’s the list of players bought by Punjab Kings for the IPL 2021.

Players Bought (Price INR)
Jhye Richardson (INR 14 crore), Riley Meredith (INR 8 crore), Shahrukh Khan (INR 5.25 crore), Moises Henriques (INR 4.2 crore), Dawid Malan (INR 1.5 crore), Fabian Allen (INR 75 lakh), Jalaj Saxena (INR 30 lakh), Saurabh Kumar (INR 20 lakh), Utkarsh Singh (INR 20 lakh).

Punjab Kings Full Squad

Here is the Punjab Kings full squad for the IPL 2021.

KL Rahul (capt), Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Dawid Malan, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Jalaj Saxena, Jhye Richardson, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Moises Henriques, Murugan Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Riley Meredith, Sarfaraz Khan, Saurabh Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, Utkarsh Singh.

Important Players in IPL 2021

The franchise would rely on KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran in the batting department. In the IPL 2020, KL Rahul broke his own record by accumulating 670 runs in the entire 2020 season. He also topped the chart of the most runs in the IPL 2020 across the teams and topped the most runs chart by a Punjab Kings batsman in any IPL season. He has been the number one batsman for Punjab Kings for the last three seasons in a row. KL Rahul’s 132 runs in 69 balls against RCB last year is the highest total by an Indian batsman in the IPL and the highest total by a team captain in the IPL. There are lots of expectations on Mayank Agarwal as well. He scored more than 400 runs in the last season. West Indies players and power hitters Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran can take any game away from the opponents.

In the bowling unit, Indian pacer Mohammed Shami is the most trusted bowler. Shami took 20 wickets in the previous season. He, along with Jhye Richardson or Riley Meredith, would take charge of the pace attack. Ravi Bishnoi, who took 12 IPL wickets last year, is expected to do his bit with his leg-break and googly.

Conclusion

Years of hard work, change of plans and players have not helped the franchise to win the IPL trophy. Time will tell if the change of the franchise name from Kings XI Punjab to Punjab Kings has worked for them. However, Punjab Kings did a good job this time during the auction, spending their money how they wanted. The current squad looks very good with a perfect blend of national and international players. They also have good all-rounders and finishers as well as effective fast bowlers. Overall, the team looks great to break into the top four in the IPL 2021. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they went all the way this time.

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