After the India-England series, all the focus is now on the biggest T20 league in the world i.e., the IPL. The 14th season of the IPL starts on the 9th of April. The defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of the IPL 2021. Kings XI Punjab who finished sixth in the last year’s IPL has changed their name to Punjab Kings.
Punjab Kings had the biggest purse in this year’s IPL Auction and they have bought some big-ticket players to fill the overseas slots. They got the No.1 T20I player in Dawid Malan and spent more than 20 CR for the two Aussie quicks – Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith. After changing their name, they will be hoping for a change in fortune as they will be targeting to make the playoffs this season but it won’t be easy as some of their top players are not in great form. Let’s have a look at five players from the Punjab Kings who are not in form ahead of IPL 2021.
5. Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal who will open the batting for Punjab Kings has last played a competitive match on 19th January at the Gabba. He was part of the first two ODIs on the Australian tour where he failed to make any impact. In the Test series, he wasn’t in great form and was dropped after a couple of Tests.
Due to injuries to all the Indian batsmen, he was given an opportunity in the fourth Test at Brisbane but he was dismissed while playing on the rise in both innings. He looked completely out of form in the Test series and even though this will be a different format he wouldn’t be high on confidence. Agarwal is a key player in the Punjab team and he needs to get back in form pretty quickly.
4. Jhye Richardson
Punjab Kings have bought the Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson for a whopping 14 CR in this year’s auction. Richardson who was part of the Australian T20I squad which toured New Zealand for a five-match series isn’t in great form.
He picked up just four wickets in the five games and gave away runs at an economy rate of more than 8.5. He was brilliant in the BBL season and Punjab would need him at his best from the first game.
3. Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan who is a T20 specialist hasn’t been in the greatest of forms as he was getting whacked from all the batsmen in the recently concluded T20I series against India. Jordan picked up four wickets in the five games at an average of 49.5.
He was the most expensive bowler in the series as he gave away runs at an economic rate of 10.52. Jordan who is a death specialist was getting hammered at the death. Jordan’s form would be a huge concern for Punjab Kings.
2. Chris Gayle
The Universe Boss who was a part of the Pakistan Super League travelled to the Caribbean to play the three-match series against Sri Lanka. It wasn’t a great comeback for Chris Gayle as he failed to score big in all three games.
Gayle who was batting at No.3 managed to score only 29 runs in three innings at an average of 9.67. Last year Gayle was an integral part of the Punjab side in the second half when they started winning most of the games. Punjab would want the Universe Boss to be at his absolute best.
1. Nicholas Pooran
Nicholas Pooran who is slowly becoming the T20 mega superstar failed to make an impact in the T20I series against Sri Lanka. Pooran scored only two more runs than Gayle, 31 runs in 3 innings at an average of 10.33. He is one of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket and he would want to get back in form in the IPL.
He will be important for Punjab Kings in the middle-overs as he can take on the spinners with utmost ease. Along with KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran will be the most important player in the Punjab Kings in the upcoming IPL 2021.