IPL 2019: Nicholas Pooran an exciting addition, says KXIP coach Mike Hesson

IPL 2019: Nicholas Pooran an exciting addition, says KXIP coach Mike Hesson

Pooran was brought at a price of INR 4.2 crores.

Nicholas Pooran
Nicholas Pooran. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20 via Getty Images)

For Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2018 was a huge disappointment. They started the race like a hare, winning a good number of matches, but then lost the plot to eventually fail to qualify for the playoffs. For captain Ravichandran Ashwin, it was a forgettable opening season, but the arrival of former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson as the side’s coach last October will boost the Kings’ hope to do better in the upcoming season beginning March 23.

Hesson was seen analysing the players of the KXIP squad and after he praised pacer Ankit Rajpoot in one video, the coach took up the analysis of another exciting player in the Kings’ squad and he is West Indian Nicholas Pooran. The 23-year-old southpaw from Trinidad was bought at the auction in December for Rs 4.2 crore and he will certainly be another top pillar of the KXIP batting line-up.

‘A young Chris Gayle’

“I am sure you all are excited about him when you look at the numbers he is putting up around the world at the moment. Obviously, he’s just been introduced to West Indies one-day international squad. He’s been a dynamic performer around the scene with strike-rates nearing the 200s in some competitions. Left-hand bat, I would always call him a young Chris Gayle with that imposing nature. The ability to play spin and hit spin outside the park could play well,” Hesson was quoted as saying in a video shared by the KXIP in their official Twitter handle.

Incidentally, Gayle has also been playing for KXIP since last year. Hesson also stressed on Pooran’s flexibility. He said he can be used at the top of the order; as a finisher and also as a wicket-keeper. “He is an extraordinary addition to the squad,” the coach said about Pooran, who has played just one ODI and 11 T20Is so far, scoring 218 runs (all of which have come in the shortest format).

In the T20s, Pooran has played 95 games and scored 1,764 runs at a strike rate of 143-plus. He has scored nine fifties in the format so far. KXIP will play their first game in this IPL against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on March 25.

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