KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia opines on the future of KL Rahul and Anil Kumble in IPL

KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia opines on the future of KL Rahul and Anil Kumble in IPL

KXIP did well this season but missed out on qualifying for the playoffs.

Anil Kumble and KL Rahul
Anil Kumble and KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Getty Images and Twitter)

The IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) is known for trying a new combination of captain and coach in every IPL season to win their maiden T20 trophy. However, this time the management has decided to stick with the duo of KL Rahul and Anil Kumble and work with them for a period of three years.

The co-owner of the Punjab franchise Ness Wadia reckons that in the upcoming auction, the franchise would be looking forward to filling the gaps in the team. They will be mainly focusing on adding a reliable middle-order batsman along with a good death option. Ness was also disappointed with the poor performance of the international players including Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cottrell.

“It is a new captain, a new team with a lot of fresh faces, sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t. The auction is coming up soon and we would be looking to plug the gaps in the middle-order and our bowling. The international players did not perform to the expected level,” Wadia said as quoted by News 18.

On the speculations of changing the captain and coach, he clarified that they have a three-year plan with Kumble and will try to come back stronger next year. He also heaped praises on the skipper Rahul for being the backbone of KXIP.

“We have a charted a three-year strategy with Anil. We revamped this season and finished sixth and lost (the play-off spot) only by one game. KL has been with us for three years and there was a reason why we went after him so aggressively. He has proved us right. It is tough for the top order when your middle order is not performing.”

Gayle has demonstrated that he should play every game next season: Ness Wadia

Wadia further added that the KXIP has got a good core in the form of batsmen KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle and pacer Mohammed Shami. He also praised Rahul for his captaincy along with hailing the young Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi for their decent performances.

“The good thing is that we have an established core now (Rahul, Agarwal, Pooran, Gayle and Shami) and we need to plug the gaps which are quite apparent (middle-order and death bowling). KXIP’s record of making too many changes in captaincy and coaching is something which we want to correct.

“Rahul captained exceedingly well and gained in confidence with each game. We are lucky to have him. Shami has been brilliant too and has adjusted brilliantly to the T20 format. Pooran and the young Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh too performed well,” he further said.

KXIP had players like T Natarajan, Varun Chakravarthy and Sam Curran in their team at one point of time. All the players did exceedingly well for their franchises Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings respectively this season. Speaking about the same, Wadia said, “Imagine if we had those players, Sam Curran (CSK) also but again it is all in hindsight.

Ness also clarified about the future of Chris Gayle in KXIP. Gayle didn’t feature in the first seven games but in the last seven, he smashed 288 runs at an average of 41.14, with 99 being his highest score. “The team management did what it thought was best for the team. It is important to back experienced players and Gayle has demonstrated that he should play every game next season,” said the co-owner of the franchise