Kings XI Punjab had a roller-coaster journey in IPL 2020, losing a dramatic Super Over to Delhi Capitals before being undone by a miraculous knock from Rahul Tewatia against Rajasthan Royals. However, they bounced back in style with some magnificent performances as they won five consecutive games on the trot. Chris Gayle was the difference-maker and Kings XI Punjab showed their mettle in the double Super Over clash against Mumbai Indians. Kings XI Punjab were in contention for the playoffs but losses to Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings in their last two games meant they were knocked out of the contest.
However, there were positives and negatives for Kings XI Punjab. The performances of Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, KL Rahul’s captaincy and the superb bowling of Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi stood out. Ness Wadia, while speaking to PTI, said there was plenty of good moments for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020. “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,” Wadia said.
Letting key players go
However, Kings XI Punjab would be ruing the fact that they let go of three key players before IPL 2020. Sam Curran was picked up by Chennai Super Kings and he proceeded to be their lone bright start in a horrible campaign where they finished seventh. T Natarajan was also let go and he showed his class for Sunrisers Hyderabad by nailing yorkers at will and bowling brilliantly in the death. Varun Chakravarthy was also part of Kings XI Punjab but he found great success in Kolkata Knight Riders where he picked 5/20 against Delhi Capitals and was one of the key players in the side.
“Imagine if we had those players, Sam Curran (CSK) also but again it is all in hindsight. Each coach who comes in has a thought process and a manner in conducting himself like any other CEO of a company. One has to allow them time to settle, provide stability and allow them to make mistakes and learn from them and take the team forward,” Wadia said.
Wadia added that the international players did not perform and under a new captain and team, it needed time for them to deliver the results. “The international players did not perform to the expected level. It is a new captain, 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,” Wadia added.