Aakash Chopra analyses KXIP's requirements ahead of IPL 2021 mega auction

Aakash Chopra analyses KXIP’s requirements ahead of IPL 2021 mega auction

Chopra wants KXIP to release Glenn Maxwell and get a middle-order batsman.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Facebook)

Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra opined on the players the franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) should retain for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) and also suggested some major changes the franchise needs to make in their squad if they want to bounce back stronger the following year.

KL Rahul and Co. finished sixth at the points table in IPL 2020 with 12 points in their bag from 14 fixtures. In a video shared on his YouTube channel, the veteran highlighted that Punjab need a solid bowling attack at the death. Aakash feels that poor death bowling was one of the main reasons for the team’s poor run in IPL 2020.

Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham and Chris Jordan failed to justify their hefty pay-checks while Hardus Viljoen didn’t get a single game. “About the suggestions for 2021, they will have to improve in their bowling. Jordan, Cottrell, Neesham, Hardus Viljoen – none of them is a good runaway fast bowler, no one who could give you the bowling at the death.”

“If you do not get the death bowling, then your problem will remain. Kings XI Punjab did recover later on but in the first 7 matches, they were conceding 54 runs on an average in the last 3 overs. How will you win matches if you keep on doing that?” Chopra added.

I would not retain Gayle: Aakash Chopra

The renowned commentator believes that KXIP need a competent middle-order batsman to strengthen their batting line-up. Though the franchise had added Glenn Maxwell to their squad, the power-hitter was one of the biggest flops of the season and failed to hit even a single maximum.

“So they will have to hire overseas recruits there, somehow get them into the team, however expensive they might be. If they can get a middle-order batsman instead of Maxwell, they should go for him.”

It is speculated that there will be a mega auction ahead of IPL 2021 and a new team would be added in the tournament. In that view, Chopra reckoned that Punjab should not retain Chris Gayle as the possibility of him playing the IPL for the next three years is low. Instead, they should go with the young Caribbean player Nicholas Pooran, who wasn’t at his fluent best in IPL 2020 but showed promise as a hard-hitter.

“They will have to think about Chris Gayle if they can think about him for the next IPL or the IPL after that. Because if it is a mega-auction, which is a possibility, then you will have to start thinking ahead that who will stay with you for the next three years. I would not retain Gayle. I will let him go. If someone has to be retained, I will retain Nicholas Pooran.”

The 43-year-old picked four players namely KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, opening batsman Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran as the ones KXIP should retain or use the RTM for. He also stated that the team should also look at the options of Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin and Arshdeep Singh.

“So, if you talk about the retentions, they would be Rahul, Mayank, Pooran and Shami. These would be the four players whom I will retain or use the ‘Right to Match’ card.”

“I will also think about Ravi Bishnoi and may be Arshdeep, Deepak Hooda and Murugan Ashwin – these will be my 2-3 other guys on whom I will keep an eye on.” Aakash Chopra concluded.