It was a manic couple of days at the VIVO Indian Premier League player auctions, but bagging most of the players they wanted, Kings XI Punjab would be quite happy with their exploits. With 21 players to choose from in the squad, it seems that the side finally has the perfect balance. We got in touch with team co-owner, Preity Zinta after the auction storm (not the Gayle one) ended, and proceedings could be reflected upon, for an exclusive interview with kxip.in. Here are the excerpts.
How do you think the team composition is looking, now that the auction is over?
I think we finally have a perfect Kings XI Punjab squad. It was the most memorable auction for me because I had the worst toothache of the century but I sat through it, because I knew this was going to be a special squad for us. I am glad that the fans are happy. I am super thrilled to have Yuvraj back home in Punjab, and of course, the Gayle Storm is coming to Punjab soon!
Which team apart from KXIP do you think did a good job at the auction?
I think all teams did a great job. I think Delhi Daredevils did really well in these auctions, and so did Sunrisers Hyderabad. Everybody did well.
What were your thoughts when you were in a bidding war for Jaydev Unadkat?
I felt like that batsman who is standing in the middle in the 19th over, when there are six runs needed in one ball, and then you hit a four, but don’t hit a six. We were in this bidding war with Chennai Super Kings, and we really did want Jaydev, but Rajasthan Royals came in from nowhere and our budgets would have gone really haywire had we gone with him. But now, we have a perfectly balanced squad, so we are really happy about that.
Was there a reason for your cautious approach on Day 2 as opposed to Day 1, where you were bidding aggressively?
I think people on Twitter were making fun of me after the first day, and how crazily I was bidding at the auction (laughs). But we got the players we wanted, and we wanted to save money for bowlers, as well as for Chris Gayle, so we were waiting.
Can you tell us anything about the captaincy options?
Well, of course I can let you know who the next captain is going to be! But if I tell you everything right now, you may not stay tuned to this website, so wait and watch!
Can you tell us about the players who will be heavily featuring in the playing XI?
Wait for the game! I think that is a silly question, because the playing XI is decided after looking at the ground and the pitch you will be playing on and that is how our playing XI will be determined as well.
Will there be a change in approach in the coming season, in terms of strategy?
Of course, the only thing that is constant in life is change, so yes. But I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at the Kings XI Punjab cricket operations team who worked really hard and tirelessly for months – from the analytical team, to Viru, to Mohit (Burman) and Ness (Wadia). They ensured that this year we had a full purse. At the end of the day money talks, and a full purse was the reason we could go forward with all our plans. A big thanks to Brad Hodge as well, who alongside Viru, helped ensure that we have a great team. He recently had some health related issues, so I wish him well, and we are really looking forward to having him in Punjab soon.