In spite of their lack of success in the competition, Kings XI Punjab continue to be one of the most loved teams in the IPL.
Having a very popular Bollywood actress as your team owner also helps, as Preity Zinta’s endearing nature has given her team a lot of good will over the last ten years.
But it’s the performance on the pitch that matters, and that is where KXIP have struggled in the IPL. A couple of semi-finals and one final appearance is just not good enough for a team that boasted the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Brett Lee, Kumar Sangakara, Glenn Maxwell, Virender Sehwag and David Miller over the years.
Previously a player and now the head coach of the team, Virender Sehwag is in a buoyant mood ahead of the new season, as the coach revealed that KXIP will try and keep some of their core group of players.
“We are planning to retain one player and use our Right To Match (RTM) cards for players who have done well for us like Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Hashim Amla, Sandeep Sharma or Mohit Sharma. We are planning to use all our RTM cards. We would like to pick new talent. We have done it in the past with Sandeep Sharma or Axar Patel,” said Sehwag.
While he did not mention the name of the player that Punjab will retain, we can guess that it is mostly going to be one of their foreign stars. The likes of Maxwell, Miller and Amla will go for big money in the auction, which is why it makes sense to keep hold of at least one of the aforementioned trio.
We also learn that KXIP are very interested in bringing back Yuvraj Singh into the fold. While Yuvi is no longer the player that he once was, he can provide an experienced head in the lineup, which could be an invaluable asset in the competition.