Even after playing arguably the most entertaining brand of cricket in IPL 2020, Punjab Kings finished sixth in the standings.
Their bowling at the death and during powerplays emerged as major bugbears as the likes of Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, and Arshdeep Singh consistently leaked runs.
Gambhir explained that by reuniting India's new-ball pair of Shami and Umesh Yadav, Punjab Kings can have a lot more flexibility with their overseas options.
According to the former Indian batsman, the franchise can also bring in all-rounders Jamieson and Morris to bolster their bowling and lower-order batting. Speaking on the Star Sports network, Gambhir said:
"They (Punjab Kings) might have to probably strengthen their Indian bowling because apart from Mohammed Shami there is no one who could compliment him. Probably Umesh Yadav will be a very good pick - Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav bowling with a new ball; so, they can actually rotate their fast bowlers. If you have got two Indian bowlers bowling with the new ball, it can actually open one gap for you from an overseas point of view – so they can have someone like Chris Morris who can bowl well in the death as well, and at the same time Kyle Jamieson – so they can pick both of them."
Gambhir further added in this regard:
"Imagine if you have Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Kyle Jamieson and Chris Morris plus two leg spinners with Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. Your batting becomes such a dangerous batting, you have got a very good Indian talent – you have Mayank Aggarwal, KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda plus Chris Morris, Kyle Jamieson. I think they should look at someone like Umesh Yadav, Kyle Jamieson and Chris Morris – these are the three players if they look to target and can get them in the auction, which they will because they have so much of money. It will make the entire side look completely different.”
Umesh Yadav is the most experienced of the trio. In 121 IPL games, he has picked up 119 wickets at a fine average of 30.
On the other hand, Morris blew hot and cold in IPL 200 while turning out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. But overall, he has an excellent record in the tournament. In 70 IPL matches, Morris has picked up 80 wickets at a brilliant average of just under 24. The South African's batting strike rate of 157.87 further enhances his value.
Jamieson is yet to feature in the IPL. However, the 26-year-old New Zealand all-rounder has played six Tests, two ODIs, and four T20Is since making his international debut against India in February 2020. He is likely to be a sought after player at the IPL 2021 Auction.
Punjab Kings were a bit unlucky in IPL 2020: Gautam Gambhir
Punjab Kings' IPL 2020 campaign got off to a tumultuous start as they lost six of their first seven games, mostly by slender margins.
Gambhir pointed out two defeats - against the Delhi Capitals in their first match (Super Over) and against the Kolkatata Knight Riders (by two runs). The southpaw said the Punjab Kings were a "bit unlucky" to end up on the losing side in such close matches.
“They were a bit unlucky; I would say. One of the games I still remember obviously was against Delhi Capitals, one game was against KKR where they missed by an inch. But there are no excuses; ultimately, if you don’t win, you don’t win – as simple as it gets," Gambhir added.
The IPL 2021 Auction will commence at 3:00 pm IST on Thursday, February 18. You can catch the quickest live updates regarding the same here.