Kings XI Punjab firmed up its team in the VIVO Indian Premier League auction for the 2020 season on Thursday, bringing in batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders to take its squad number to the maximum limit of 25.
KXIP brought in nine players, seven of them being new entrants to the franchise while Glenn Maxwell and Prabhsimran Singh came back, having had stints in earlier seasons.
Here are the new Sadde Kings:
Remember, how it was pointed out that KXIP needs a marquee left-hander in the team to be complete? Well, here is the latest name on the list.
Sheldon Cottrell must be familiar to anyone who follows cricket. His army salute celebration every time he takes a wicket, which is often, has become a sensation on social media, with several kids copying the now-iconic action.
Cottrell made his first-class debut in 2011, and first played for the West Indies in 2013. He has become a limited-overs specialist for them in the following years, claiming 38 wickets in 29 ODIs, including a five-wicket haul, and 30 wickets in 22 T20Is.
He had a great time at the World Cup earlier this year and though the Windies did not progress to the knockouts, made a lasting impact with his fiery pace and accurate bowling to bamboozle batsmen, a skill which made KXIP fight for him with both Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals.
One of the few cricketers to perform both on field and on Twitter, Jimmy Neesham represents the Kiwi spirit of never giving up to the T. A left-handed batsman who bowls with his right, the all-rounder is a great asset in the T20 format.
Probably Breaking Bad https://t.co/QjwXA2AGiO— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) December 17, 2019
Neesham is one of those understated players in a side. He may not be the star of the team, goes about his job quietly and more often than not, efficiently. His deceptive medium-pace is economical while his lower-order hitting will rescue the side if the too-order collapses.
Neesham made his debut for New Zealand in 2012, and has scored 1,247 runs in 59 ODIs while picking 59 wickets. In 18 T20Is, he has scored 185 runs and has 13 wickets to his name.
He was a key part of the New Zealand team that made its way to the final, and almost pulled off the 15-run chase in the famous Super Over, hitting a big six off Jofra Archer but unfortunately lost out due to the boundary count-back rule, which has since been changed.
Just a reminder that Chris Jordan can do outrageous stuff like this... 🤯 pic.twitter.com/vYQrb3Q71w— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) November 23, 2019
The English bowler often flies under the radar, much like Neesham but his performances mean that he does not remain that way for long. He has become somewhat of a T20 specialist for England in recent times, and with good reason too.
Since his debut for the national team in 2013, Jordan has played 43 T20Is, picking 54 wickets including a career-best of 4/6. He often bowls at the death, and his keen observation during the run-up mean that he can change his lines at the last minute, with his pinpoint yorkers and cutters making him a lethal bowler during the slog overs.
The 31-year-old also wields the bat well, scoring 216 runs at a strike-rate 130.12, often coming in after No. 9, and teeing off immediately. He is a gun out-fielder and has plucked a few brilliant catches in the deep.
Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Tajinder Dhillon
Domestic players form a great core for any IPL side and KXIP brought in four impressive ones in Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi and Tajinder Singh Dhillon.
Deepak Hooda is a seasoned all-rounder in the domestic circuit for Baroda since his debut in 2013, scoring 1,617 runs in 116 T20s, including a hundred. He has also played for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL before, so comes in with some much-needed experience in the tournament while also shoring up the squad.
Ishan Porel has been great for Bengal with the ball since his debut in the 2016-17 season. His thunderbolts with the right-arm have seen bag 40 wickets in just 16 first-class matches, including two five- and four-wicket hauls each. He is equally good in domestic T20s, picking 16 wickets in 14 games at a brilliant economy of 6.11. The 21-year-old was also a key part of the India U-19 side that emerged victorious in the 2018 World Cup.
Ravi Bishnoi made his debut for Rajasthan just this year but has already been touted as the next big thing. The leg-spinning all-rounder has picked 6 wickets in 6 T20s at an economy of 6.57 and is part of the India U-19 World Cup squad, which begins its campaign next month.
Tajinder Singh Dhillon made his debut for Rajasthan in 2017 and has picked 17 wickets in 21 T20s at 6.52 with his right-arm off-breaks, and scored 346 runs lower down the order with a sole half-century, and can be a key player for KXIP with his all-round skills.
Glenn Maxwell and Prabhsimran Singh
These two names are not new for KXIP fans. Glenn Maxwell first came into the team in 2014 and played for three years, even captaining the team in 2017. This time, the side needed a maverick middle-order bat and Anil Kumble identified the perfect candidate in the Aussie, and went all out to acquire him.
Prabhsimran Singh makes his way back, having been part of the team last year. He is only 19 years old but has already hit two fifties in 14 T20s for his state side and will be hoping to replicate that batting form for KXIP in the upcoming season.