Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has hit out at the Kings XI Punjab team management for including James Neesham in their playing XI. He labelled the New Zealander as a player who has not been able to deliver the goods both as a batsman and a bowler.
He shared this opinion while reviewing the Punjab-based franchise's massive defeat against the Mumbai Indians in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Kings XI Punjab are getting their team selections wrong, especially regarding the non-inclusion of Mujeeb Ur Rahman in their playing XI.
"First thing is that Kings XI Punjab is not playing the right team. Honestly, they are the only team in the world where Mujeeb is not able to make it to the playing XI after being in the squad."
He questioned the selection of James Neesham as an overseas player in the Kings XI Punjab team, and opined that the Kiwi all-rounder is not a game-changer in either department.
"They play Neesham, an overseas fast bowler, who neither bowls in the powerplay nor in the death overs. He is neither a great finisher nor a big batsman who bats in the top four or five. So why is Kings XI Punjab playing him? You are playing a player who is not really a match-winner."
The renowned commentator lambasted Kings XI Punjab for finishing Sheldon Cottrell's overs early in their bowling effort, thereby leaving Neesham and Krishnappa Gowtham to bowl at the death along with Mohammed Shami.
"They bowled Sheldon Cottrell at the start and finished his quota of overs before the 15th over. What sort of bowling is that, you have to get him to the death. Otherwise who will bowl at the death, Jimmy Neesham and Krishnappa Gowtham with Mohammed Shami."
Aakash Chopra questioned the Kings XI Punjab tactic of giving the last over to an off-spinner, with even the likes of Sunil Narine, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh not entrusted with that responsibility.
"Shami is not India's gun death bowler and then they give the 20th over to Gowtham, an off-spinner in the 20th over. You don't even give that over to Sunil Narine, Ravichandan Ashwin or Harbhajan Singh nowadays and you gave it to Gowtham."
Aakash Chopra on the team changes required to be done by Kings XI Punjab
Aakash Chopra opined that the Kings XI Punjab will have to be judicious in their team selections if they want to address their bowling concerns. He called for the inclusion of Mujeeb Ur Rahman while asking them to consider Glenn Maxwell's place in the team.
"Kings XI Punjab have to get their selection correct if they have to resolve their bowling issues. They need to play Mujeeb. They will have to think if they want to continue with Maxwell or not."
He signed off by iterating that James Neesham has to be excluded from their playing XI and that the franchise has to identify a bowler who can deliver the goods for them at the death.
"And it is necessary to make Neesham sit out. You can play Cottrell but then you need to get somebody who can bowl at the death."
Kings XI Punjab's death bowling has proved to be a huge matter of concern for the franchise. Two of their bowlers, Chris Jordan and Sheldon Cottrell, have conceded 30 runs in an over at the death, and Krishnappa Gowtham had an almost similar experience yesterday.
Published 02 Oct 2020, 12:07 IST