A fierce bidding war for foreign stars, including Faf Du Plessis, Chris Lynn, Ben Stokes and Joe Root, will headline the upcoming IPL auction which will see more than 1000 players go under the hammer.
The mega-auction is scheduled to take place in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.
At the IPL player retention announcement event, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) CEO Satish Menon said that his team will continue to play ‘Punjabi’ style of cricket. If they manage to do so, they are likely to succeed more often than not.
And now as per recent media reports, KXIP owner and Bollywood actress Preity Zinta is eyeing at South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis as the skipper of her team.
The Punjab team has been the underachievers during most seasons of the IPL. They are yet to win a title and have been absent from the playoffs on eight occasions out of ten. The franchise has never built a core team and has seen numerous changes in leaders as well as in the composition of the side which is the biggest reason for their inconsistency.
Under Glenn Maxwell, last season, KXIP narrowly missed out on a playoffs berth. But they did not retain Maxi for the upcoming season and in doing so, Punjab has sent the message that they are looking for a new player to lead their side.
KXIP have made it to the playoffs only in those years when they had a good captain. This time around, Faf du Plessis could well be the man for the job!
Du Plessis is a shrewd leader with a great cricketing brain and is currently South Africa’s captain in all formats of the game. He was appointed as captain of Preity Zinta owned team Stellenbosch Kings for T20 Global league which was scheduled to be held in South Africa. However, the league was later called off due to numerous reasons.
Having 67.5 crores in their kitty after retaining Axar Patel, Kings XI Punjab won’t mind spending few extra bucks investing in a good captain. With Faf du Plessis in, Kings XI can be assured that they have got a very consistent and reliable batsman at the top who gets his team off to a good start more often than not.
Previous KXIP skippers George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller generally used to bat at number 5 or 6 because of their role as a finisher. But Du Plessis has opened for his previous franchise Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant and also bats at no. 3 or 4 for South Africa in T20Is.
Therefore, if Du Plessis is appointed as KXIP captain, then he will get a reasonable number of balls to make a significant impact in the game. Above all, he is a tremendous fielder anywhere on the park.
As they say, ‘The one good thing about luck is that it will change one day.’ Last few years have been dismal for Punjab. Preity Zinta and others have supported KXIP team through hard times and this time they deserve much better. You never know, this season we could witness the resurgence of KXIP under their new skipper Faf du Plessis.