Kings XI Punjab have the biggest purse going forward to the IPL 2021 Auction which is due tomorrow. They retained 16 players and released 9, some of them they had paid high bucks for. It saw an exponential growth in their purse from 16.5 crore to 53.2 crore which now means they have a lot of money to fill just 9 available slots and they can target their absolutely anybody they need. In this article, we take a look at 3 players Kings XI Punjab should target according to their requirements in the IPL Auction tomorrow.
Jason Behrendorff/Chris Morris
With the amount of purse KXIP have, they can pretty much target anyone they want but at the moment, the would need an overseas fast bowler who is very good at his job. They invested highly in Sheldon Cottrell last year. They paid him big bucks but didn’t get the returns. This time, they might be little skeptical of buying inexperienced players which is why Chris Morris seems to be a target player for them when it comes to fast bowler.
However, since Sheldon Cottrell was a left arm fast bowler and the fact that Morris is injury prone, they may also look for other options. For the like for like replacement, i.e, replacing Cottrell with another left arm fast bowler, then Jason Behrendorff looks like the best option among the available ones. Mitchell McClenaghan, David Willey and Neil Wagner also seem to be decent options but with the former, his natural length is short or good length and he is past his prime while Wagner has never played T20 cricket for New Zealand which might force KXIP to not think of him. Behrendorff was hit by injury in the recently concluded BBL but he did decently whenever he was fit.
Behrendorff has played 5 matches for MI where he got 5 wickets. He is quite new at this level too which is why we think KXIP main target can be Chris Morris. Morris can also add value to the batting down the order.
Since KXIP released both Glenn Maxwell and James Neesham, they would want someone who can bat at 5 or 6 and also give them some overs with the ball. Shivam Dube seems to be the ideal player to fulfill that demand. With batsmen like Gayle, Rahul, Mayank and Pooran, they don’t necessarily need a proper batsman who can control the inning but they need someone who can tonk a few lusty blows in the final few overs. Shivam Dube can perform that role even though he still has a long way to go to get the trust from any franchise and fans but among the available options, he fits the criteria. Most importantly, he is an Indian which means KXIP could afford to play both Jordan and other overseas fast bowler if they purchase Dube.
Other options for this slot are Ben Cutting, Moeen Ali, Colin De Grandhomme, Glenn Philips and Shahrukh Khan. They all are power hitters while the three of these five can contribute with an over or two in every match.
Moeen Ali/Jalaj Saxena
KXIP right now has no off spinners. All the mainstream spinners they have got bring the ball back in to the left hander whether it is Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi or Harpreet Brar. This is a hole they would like to fill in this auction. Deepak Hooda can bowl some off spin but he doesn’t necessarily make it to the team’s playing 11 on the basis of his batting so they’d want someone whom they can play based on at least skill.
Moeen Ali seems to be an option along with Jalaj Saxena and Harbhajan Singh. Since they have left out Neesham, Ali can be the like for like replacement for him with the bat and bring more value with ball. Although Jalaj Saxena is a much better off spinner in domestic cricket and he can bat too.The difference between Moeen Ali and Jalaj Saxena is that Ali is an aggressive option as batsman while Saxena is an attacking option as bowler. Far too often, KXIP have struggling with their batting all rounders not contributing enough with the ball which is why in this season, they might look for a bowling all rounder, given that they have such a heavy batting lineup at the top.
These are the 3 players Kings XI Punjab should target in the IPL Auction.