Kings XI Punjab had new team management under former Indian skipper Anil Kumble and a new captain in KL Rahul for the IPL 2020 season. They had a horrible first half of the tournament, where they lost 6 of their 7 games, and were rooted to the bottom of the IPL 2020 points table. Although they won their next 5 matches, they couldn't quite reach the 14-point mark and had to bow out of the tournament before the playoffs.
The constant chopping and changing of the playing XI did not help their case. They just could not find the right combination to have a settled XI. However, the poor form of some high-profile players was the biggest reason why KXIP failed to have a successful IPL 2020 season. Here are 5 players likely to be released by KXIP after a disappointing season.
IPL 2020: 5 Players Kings XI Punjab might release after this season
1. Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell was snapped up by the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL 2020 auction for a whopping INR 10.75 crores. Anil Kumble was a part of the Mumbai Indians think tank when Maxwell played for MI back in 2013, and knew the kind of impact that he would have if he played at his best. Thus, he backed Maxwell to become an impact player in the middle-order for KXIP.
However, things did not turn out to be the way KXIP expected. Maxwell could only score 108 runs in 13 matches, at a poor average of 15.42, and a strike-rate of 101.88, which is extremely low according to his standards. He was backed a lot by the team management, but he could not deliver anywhere near to his best. With such a heavy price tag attached to him, KXIP are likely to release him before the next season in order to have a decent amount in their kitty for the IPL 2021 auction.
James Neesham was brought into the KXIP side on the basis of his ability as an all-rounder, and many tipped him to be a smart buy. However, he could not find his place in the playing XI for the first few games due to the balance of the side. When he got his chances, he failed to make an impact.
In 5 games that he played in the IPL 2020 season, Neesham was able to score just 19 runs take just 2 wickets at a very high economy of 9.86. Since only 8 foreigners are allowed in a squad, KXIP might like to release Neesham, and bag another foreign player who could make a bigger impact for them.
Krishnappa Gowtham had smashed a brilliant century and had taken an 8-wicket haul in the same game in the Karnataka Premier League. This enticed KXIP to snap him up from the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2020 trade window. He was brought in to add extra depth to the KXIP batting lineup, but also for his bowling abilities.
However, Gowtham failed to make an impact for KXIP as he was only able to play two games in the entire IPL 2020 season. He scored only 42 runs and picked up just 2 wickets with a very high economy of 10.50. The successful combination of leg-spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin reduced Gowtham's playtime even further. With a very underwhelming IPL 2020 season gone by, KXIP are likely to release the Karnataka all-rounder before the next season.
Sarfaraz Khan was retained by KXIP ahead of the IPL 2020 season as he had a fantastic run in the Ranji Trophy playing for Mumbai, scoring two back to back double hundreds against Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Even former Indian greats like Sunil Gavaskar tipped that the IPL 2020 season could be the breakthrough season for Sarfaraz.
However, Sarfaraz couldn't capitalize on the opportunities that were given to him by KXIP, scoring just 33 runs from 5 games at an average of just 16.50. With the likes of Mandeep Singh and Deepak Hooda doing well, Sarfaraz lost his place in the side. KXIP would likely release the Mumbai batsman and would try and look at other uncapped Indian batsmen in the next auction.
5. Karun Nair
Only the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to hit a triple century in Test cricket for India, Karun Nair has been a part of the KXIP franchise for a while now. However, he has not been able to deliver the consistent performances that were expected of him. With coach Anil Kumble backing him at No. 3 after knowing his game, Nair failed miserably, scoring just 16 runs from 4 games.
When Chris Gayle was brought back into the side, he took the No.3 position like a fish takes to water and made the slot his own. This meant that Karun Nair had to lose his place in the playing XI. After so many seasons of backing the Karnataka pro, maybe it is time that KXIP look at other experienced Indian batsmen in the IPL 2021 auction.Published 18 Nov 2020, 17:46 IST