Kings XI Punjab played some good cricket for the major parts of IPL 2020, but they were unable to get over the line more often than not. They ended up sixth on the points table, with six wins to their name, and narrowly missed out on a spot in the playoffs despite a late resurgence.
Punjab were let down terribly by some of their senior players, while the young guns were inconsistent and failed to grab onto their chances. We look at three players Punjab could release ahead of IPL 2021, which will allow them to increase their purse and go for reliable match-winners in the upcoming auction.
Glenn Maxwell: Unarguably one of the biggest match-winners in T20 cricket, Glenn Maxwell, however, has been a serious under performer in the IPL over the years. Bought for a mammoth INR 10.75 crore, the Australian could only average 15.42 and strike at 101.88 without a single fifty or a single six in the entire edition last year.
Maxwell, who has always been much sought after by IPL teams in the auctions, however, has been inconsistent and well below par in the league. He has averaged 20 or less in a single season of the IPL on 6 occasions (he has played eight seasons of the IPL) and has been unable to live up to his big reputation. Releasing Maxwell will allow Punjab to free up their purse massively, and they can then have the option of buying more consistent big hitters.
Sheldon Cottrell: Sheldon Cottrell had a decent start to the season but failed to keep up his performances as the league went on. He failed to control his line and lengths, leaked runs aplenty, gave away plenty of loose balls, and was not able to be the ideal opening partner to Mohammad Shami, who had a season to remember.
The West Indian often allowed the rivals to break free from the pressure that Shami had built up, and he was eventually benched for the latter half of the edition, with young gun Arshdeep Singh taking his place. Cottrell cost Punjab INR 8.50 crore, and in turn, he could only pick up 6 wickets from as many games at an economy rate of 8.80.
James Neesham: Bought by Kings XI Punjab as an X-factor player, the New Zealand cricketer just failed to show off his skills, which even prompted Aakash Chopra to state that Neesham was not a match-winner in the format.
The all-rounder scored just 19 runs in 5 games with the bat at a strike rate of 105.55 and could only pick up 2 wickets. He was expensive with the ball, giving away close to 10 runs an over, and eventually proved to be a liability in the XI. Though bought for just INR 50 Lakhs, Punjab is likely to release him and fill his slot with a more proven match-winner in the format.
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