Indian cricket commentator and former cricketer Aakash Chopra argued in a piece on his Youtube vlog for the axing of some overseas stars from the Kings XI Punjab’s roster next year.
Chopra’s call for chopping comes against the backdrop of mediocre performance and contribution from these players.
KXIP struggled in the early part of the tournament and only got back their mojo when Chris’ Universe Boss’ Gayle was called from the bench.
However, towards the end, their play petered out like a man who is no longer virile.
Ultimately, they did not make the playoffs and ended sixth place with only 12 points to show.
He further argued that although the KL Rahul-led KXIP team looked good on paper, their output was woefully short.
He named Windies left-arm fast-medium bowler and right-handed batsman Sheldon Cottrell, among others, as the weakest link in the team.
He noted that Cottrell did not step up to the plate when he was most needed.
“Maxwell’s lack of form was a big problem, overseas bowlers another big problem. Cottrell played and then didn’t play, same was the case with Neesham and Jordan. So, the door for inward-outward movement was always kept open,” said Chopra.
He further noted that the team needs to be overhauled, especially the fast bowling unit.
“Kings XI Punjab have a reasonable need of a mega auction because they need changes. They have to do something for the fast bowling unit because it will not work out with the ones they have. They should leave out Sheldon Cottrell, they should leave Hardus Viljoen also if they are not playing him, and they should leave Maxwell as well,” posited Chopra.
He, however, doted on the ‘Universe Boss,’ noting that he is a ‘keepsake.’
“They can keep Gayle if he wants to play although he is 41-years old. But the IPL is just a few months away, and he was not expensive as well. So, they can keep him as he is an X-factor and an intimidating factor,” he opined.
Chris Gayle was left out of the Kings XI Punjab squad for the first half of the tournament, during which KXIP managed just one win in 7 matches.
However, Gayle’s call from the bench swung the fortunes in favor of the KL Rahul-.led side, who made a late charge towards the playoffs with five wins on the trot.
Gayle’s seven matches for KXIP yielded 288 runs, including three fifties and a highest score of 99 and an average of 41.14.
Yvad Billings Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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