Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia thinks the former finalists had their most successful but also most difficult auction earlier this month and that they did half the work for the 2022 IPL season at the bidding table themselves. Wadia said PBKS selected a well-rounded squad capable of lifting the elusive IPL trophy.
Punjab Kings have underperformed since IPL’s inception, reaching the final just once in 14 attempts. They’ve blown hot and cold for the past three seasons, finishing sixth out of eight teams.
With only two players in Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh, Punjab Kings went into the auction with a prize purse of Rs 72 crore, the highest among the 10 teams.
Punjab Kings had Rs 3.5 crore left at the end of the mega auction but they managed to complete their roster of 25 players. Most of their picks were praised by experts after the auction.
PBKS got people like Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso RabadaJonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Shahrukh Khan, Liam Livingstone and Odean Smith spend big bucks on said players.
They’ve also picked U19 World Champions Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan and Sandeep Sharma as valuable local heroes.
“50 percent of the struggle is finding the right team and we’ve done that. Now it’s up to the players, coaches Anil (Kumble), Jonty (Rhodes) and Damien (Wright) to really take us to that elusive one goal to lead.” Title we’ve been waiting for so long.
“Or at least a place in the top four playoffs because we’ve had a bad run for the last four to five years,” Wadia told Press Trust India.
In recent seasons Punjab has struggled with middle order power hitting and death bowling.
“We now have a balanced squad. We hit to eight or nine and have the bowlers who can get the job done both beforehand and on death.
“I would say this has been the toughest and most successful auction for us since the first edition in 2008,” said Wadia, comparing the current squad to the 2008 lot which featured players such as Yuvraj Singh, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Brett Lee and Irfan were represented by Pathan.
HAPPY THAT IPL IS BACK TO INDIA
Wadia also said he is pleased IPL is back in India and hopes it can be taken to other cities outside of Maharashtra when it is safe enough.
The BCCI announced on Friday that IPL 2022 will start on March 26 and 70 matches will be played in the league stages across four venues in Mumbai and Pune.
“I feel like we’ve seen the worst of the pandemic. It’s fantastic that IPL is back in India where it belongs. If it takes place in different parts of India, it’s even better. I think for this year it’s best. If it’s one state, we can have it all over the country in the future,” he added.