IPL 2020: Why it is time for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to drop Glenn Maxwell
Even though Maxwell looks like a good option on paper, his fortunes have plummeted to abysmally low levels in this edition.
Updated - Oct 2, 2020 11:40 am
Glenn Maxwell– generally, his name would send shivers down the spines of the opposition. The Australian right-hander is known for his ability to strike some lusty blows and put the opposition under pressure. But then, in the on-going edition of the IPL, Maxwell has struggled to put bat to ball.
In the 4 innings that he has played so far, Maxwell has failed to cross the 20 run mark even once. And, in the game against the Mumbai Indians, the right-hander scratched his way to a painstaking 18 ball 11. He was not able to up the ante and was unable to get a move on when the asking rate kept creeping up with every passing delivery.
Now, that brings us to the question– Is it time for Punjab to drop Maxwell from their side?
Why it is time for Punjab to drop Glenn Maxwell?
The Punjab batsmen have been in good form and have helped the side to rake in some big scores. Their openers, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have set the tournament on fire and occupy the first two places in the list of batsmen with the most runs in this edition. Both of them have a century each to their name in this edition and have taken the opposition bowling attack to the cleaners.
Also, West Indian recruit Nicholas Pooran has dazzled in the opportunities that he has got to bat so far. While he smashed an unbeaten 8 ball 25 in the game against Rajasthan, he was the top scorer for his side in their defeat to the Mumbai Indians, scoring 44 runs off just 27 deliveries.
Punjab also have Indian batsman Karun Nair in the middle order, and Kiwi recruit Jimmy Neesham is capable of striking a few lusty blows. And, even though Maxwell looks like a good option on paper, his fortunes have plummeted to abysmally low levels in this edition.
Now, in the game against Mumbai Indians, the Punjab side ran out of options in the bowling department. Skipper Rahul had bowled out Sheldon Cottrell early, and that left him with no option in the death overs. So, he turned to Krishnappa Gowtham’s off spin in the final over. This move backfired, as the Mumbai batsmen mercilessly smashed Gowtham for 25 runs in the final over of the innings, and that completely shifted the momentum in favour of the four-time IPL champions.
In fact, skipper KL Rahul also accepted the fact that his side needs another bowling option. That is what Rahul had to say after his side’s defeat to Mumbai.
“Obviously disappointing. Looking back, we could’ve had three wins out of four. This game, we made some mistakes. Important we come back stronger. The wicket looked good with the new ball. Don’t know if it slowed up after that. Another bowling option would be nice- an all-rounder option who can bat and bowl well. Will be sitting with the coaches to decide if we want to play an extra bowler,” said the KXIP skipper after the defeat.
Why Jordan or Mujeeb can come in handy for KXIP
Now, this is where someone like Chris Jordan would have come in handy. It is true that Jordan was smashed in his previous outing against Delhi Capitals by Marcus Stoinis, but then one bad match does not define a player. In fact, Jordan has been entrusted by his national team to bowl at the death, and the right arm seamer has been effective in finding the block hole with consistency in the shortest format of the game.
Also, another foreign recruit that Punjab can get in the place of Maxwell is Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Mujeeb has a skiddy action and can even be used to open the bowling for his side. And, if Mujeeb opens the bowling, it can allow Rahul the freedom to hold back Mohammed Shami for the ‘death’. Mujeeb can also come in the middle overs and stem the flow of runs, and this is something that can be very handy for the Punjab side.
The KL Rahul-led side has conceded totals of 226 and 191 in their last two encounters and have struggled to stem the flow of runs. Also, what is even more alarming is that they conceded 94 runs in the last 5.3 overs in the game against Rajasthan Royals.
And, in the game against Mumbai Indians, they went a step further and conceded a whopping 104 runs in the last 6 overs. They need to add firepower to their bowling department, as leaking runs in the death overs is hurting them.
Kings XI Punjab languishing at the bottom half
Punjab now find themselves in the sixth place, with just a solitary win in 4 outings. They need to strengthen their bowling department and add more firepower to their bowling arsenal. And, dropping Maxwell from the side will provide them with that opportunity. They can either turn to the pace of Jordan or the spin of Mujeeb.
But then, whoever out of Jordan and Mujeeb plays in the next game, leaving Maxwell out of the playing eleven seems to be the most viable option going forward.