Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia feels the former finalists had their most successful yet tough auction earlier this month and that they have done half the job for IPL 2022 season at the bidding table itself. Wadia said PBKS have picked a well-rounded squad that is capable of winning the elusive IPL trophy.
Punjab Kings have underperformed since IPL's inception, reaching the final only once in 14 attempts. They blew hot and cold in the last three seasons to end up sixth out of eight teams.
Retaining only 2 players in Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh, Punjab Kings went into the auction with a purse of Rs 72 crore, the highest among the 10 teams.
Punjab Kings had Rs 3.5 crore left at the end of the mega auction but they managed to complete their squad of 25 players. Most of their picks were lauded by experts after the auction.
PBKS got the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Shahrukh Khan, Liam Livingstone and Odean Smith spending big money on the said players.
They also picked up the likes of U19 World Cup hero Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma as valuable local picks.
"50 percent of the battle is getting the right team, which is what we've done. Now it's up to the players, coaches Anil (Kumble), Jonty (Rhodes) and Damien (Wright), to really take us to that elusive title we have been waiting for so long.
"Or at least a place in the top four play-offs because we have had a bad run the last four-five years," Wadia told the Press Trust India.
In recent seasons, Punjab struggled with power hitting in the middle-order and death bowling.
"We have well-balanced squad now. We bat all the way down to eight or nine and have the bowlers who can do the job both upfront and at the death.
"I would say this was the toughest and most successful auction for us since the first edition in 2008," said Wadia comparing the current squad to the 2008 batch which had the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Brett Lee and Irfan Pathan.
HAPPY THAT IPL IS BACK TO INDIA
Wadia also said he is happy that IPL is back in India and hopes it can be taken to other cities outside of Maharashtra if it is safe enough to do it.
The BCCI on Friday announced that IPL 2022 will get underway on March 26 and 70 matches in the league stages will be played across four venues in Mumbai and Pune.
"I feel we have seen the worst of the pandemic. It is fantastic that IPL is back in India, where it belongs. If it is held in various parts of India, it is even better. I think for this year, it is best if it is in one state and going forward we can have it all around the country," he added.
The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)