Known as the Indian Premier League’s most destructive yet unsuccessful franchise, Punjab Kings will go into the IPL’s 14th season with an empty trophy cabinet. Owned by Bollywood star Preity Zinta, the Mohali-based franchise recently changed their name from Kings XI Punjab to Punjab Kings. The best betting site for IPL 10Cric has put Punjab Kings as the least favourite with a return of $9.0 for a dollar. With so many new names added to the roaster in this year’s auction, it will be interesting to see if the name change works for them for the first time in 14 seasons.
Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta, and Saptarshi Dey jointly acquired the Mohali-based franchise Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) for $76 million in 2007. Punjab Kings had a poor start in the inaugural season of IPL. They lost their first two games. But they turned around the tables winning 10 of the remaining 12 games under the captaincy of Kumar Sangkara and a rock-solid performance by Aussie left-hander Shaun Marsh who won the orange cap for his 616 runs in 11 games. Punjab Kings lost to Chennai Super Kings in semis to end their most successful season so far. Punjab Kings missed the play-off spot in the second season due to the unavailability of many Australian players.
IPL governing body terminated the contracts of Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals following the Lalit Modi Saga. But the franchise owners fought back in the Mumbai High Court and reinstated themselves back in the IPL 2010. Marred by the controversy and spat between the owners Punjab Kings finished last in the 2010 season.
Finishing next seasons in the bottom half, Punjab Kings finally found their mojo and topped the group-stage points table with 22 points. Glenn Maxwell scored 552 runs in the entire season at a strike rate of 187.75. Punjab lost both playoff games and failed to make it to the finals. Playing their first Champions League T20, Punjab Kings reached to semis against CSK again who eventually won the tournament.
Punjab Kings reached a new low in the next two seasons by finishing last. Since then, the franchise is trying its best to reach the play-offs. The chance came to the last edition of IPL. They had top run-scorer K L Rahul (670 runs in 14 games). Mayank Agarwal gave him solid support with 424 runs in 11 games before losing the rest of the IPL to injury. Mohammed Shami had a brilliant run with the ball claiming 20 wickets in 14 games. But the rest of the team couldn’t capitalize on the success of these players and lost many crucial games in the final stages ( 2 super over games). They finished at the sixth spot in the points table last season.
Punjab Kings joined the auction with the biggest purse of 53.2 crores (USD 7.32 million). They released 9 players including A-listers Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Zadran. With such a staggering amount everyone thought Punjab will bully the auction market. But they were the ones who got bullied. They made back-to-back unsuccessful bids for Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali, and Chris Morris while trying to strengthen their all-rounder department. Punjab Kings hit a jackpot by signing the world number one T20 batsman David Malan for his base price of 1.5 crores (USD 206k). Finally, they found their all-rounder requirement in Jhye Richardson who cost them a whopping INR 14crores (USD 1.92 million). They fought hard to land another domestic all-rounder Shahrukh Khan with RCB. Khan was bought for INR 5.25 crore (USD 722k).
Hurt by early failures, Punjab splashed a hell of a lot of money on Riley Meredith (INR 8 crores, USD 1.1 million) and then on another Australian batting all-rounder Moises Henriques (INR 4.2 crores, USD 578k). Henriques has 57 IPL games in his pocket with 969 runs at a strike rate of 128.17 and 38 wickets at an economy of 8.38. Punjab bought another international Fabien Allen for his base price of INR 75 lakhs. To conclude the auction, PBKS added 3 uncapped Indian players - Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, and Saurabh Kumar.
What is more surprising that none of the players that Punjab bought excluding Moises Henriques has played a single IPL match.
Players out: Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Zadran, Hardus Viljoen, James Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Karun Nair, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tejinder Singh Dhillon.
Players in: Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
K L Rahul: Punjab Kings Captain K L Rahul was the IPL top-scorer. This season will be the next step for him to get his team qualified for the playoffs. Recently he has a poor run in the T20 series against England and has lost his place in the national T20I team. A comeback in IPL will make his place sure for the upcoming ICC T20I world cup hosted by India.
Nicholas Pooran: The West Indian explosive batsman scored 353 runs at a strike rate of 169.71 in 14 matches. The Punjab management will look forward to an explosive performance from their top-order batsman.
Ravi Bishnoi: Bishnoi impressed all with his bowling. Under-19 World Cup’s leading wicket-taker took 12 wickets in his first IPL season at an economy of 7.37. He will lead the spin bowling attack for PBKS.
Mohammed Shami: Indian Pacer will make a comeback after getting injured on the Australia tour. Punjab Kings most dependable bowler took 20 wickets last season at an average of 23.
Punjab Kings Squad: KL Rahul (c&wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
The best cricket betting odds providing 10Cric has placed Kolkata Knight Riders at the last position for IPL 2021 with odds of $10. This means the bookies are expecting another unsuccessful season for Punjab Kings.
1. Mumbai Indians: PBKS lost to MI last season in a super over. The current champion team is too strong for Punjab Kings. PBKS are seen to lose both games against their toughest opponents.
2. Kolkata Knight Riders: PBKS have high hopes from their matches against KKR. With the teams on the roaster and the experience, Punjab Kings will win both the games against KKR.
3. Chennai Super Kings: Last year Punjab Managed to take a single wicket of CSK in two games and lost one-sidedly. Though CSK had a poor run last season, they managed to beat PBKS comfortably. This year, the scenes are looked ideal with Punjab set to lose both games against the team yellow.
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The newly named Punjab Kings will try to get their hands on their first silverware in their 14th season of the IPL. Like every season, they have bought so many players in the auction. But they haven’t learned from their mistakes. They have not built a constant team in the process. Therefore, this season also looks like an unsuccessful attempt for Punjab Kings.