The second auction day was a productive one of Kings XI Punjab. They fortified their fast bowling department while also bagging a number of youngsters to bring a balance of youth and experience to the team.
It was a slow start for them compared to day one, where they went after the players they wanted from the get go. Day two saw them wait patiently for the right players, which worked to their advantage as they got a number of big names at a good deal.
The void faced by Kings XI Punjab after Auction Day 1 was that they lacked a quality pace attack to back up the batsmen. Team CEO Satish Menon stated that auction day two would see them remedy that and boy, did they deliver! They picked up several good pacers including Barinder Sran, Ben Dwarshuis and Mohit Sharma, who was retained using their last ‘Right to Match’ card. But the most impressive buy was Aussie pacer Andrew Tye, who was in supreme form for Gujarat Lions last season. He will be heading the Kings’ pace battery this time around.
The war for Unadkat
One of the most interesting battles to take place on Auction Day 2 was for Indian fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat. The Kings stayed in the battle till the end and almost had the deal in the bag till Rajasthan Royals came out of nowhere and raised the bid on the left-arm quick. He ended up going for a whopping 11.5 crore and was the most expensive Indian player to be auctioned this season. Although, Unadkat would have been a valuable addition to the Kings’ bowling unit, losing him to the Royals did will not impact the team’s morale since the remaining players already pillar the setup well.
Mujeeb magic for Punjab
Rising Afghan star Mujeeb Zadran was one of the big buys for Kings XI Punjab this season. The young spinner has been making waves in the Under-19 circuit for Afghanistan and will be plying his trade for the Kings in Season 11 of the league. Zadran fetched a handsome price of 4 crore and will add valuable support for KXIP’s spin twins Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Gayle storm set to blow opponents away
The biggest news of Auction Day 2 was that Chris Gayle was picked up late in the auction by Kings XI Punjab for a judicious 2 crore. The tall left-hander is one of the most destructive batsmen in the shorter format of the game and will add a lot of value at the top of the order for the Kings. In spite of his exploits in the league, Gayle was not picked up by any team during the first two rounds of bidding. However, KXIP swooped in third time around and bagged the West Indian, and their decision was met by thunderous applause. Kings will now hope that Gayle brings his A-game this season and destroys opposition bowlers like only he knows how.
Another feature of the second auction day was that all the teams turned their focus towards picking uncapped Indian cricketers in their squad. The uncapped players picked up big bids and even managed to outdo a lot of big names when it came to the bidding wars. Kings XI Punjab enlisted the services of Akshdeep Nath, Mayank Dagar and Manzoor Dar. These players will now look to make a name for themselves among the big guns of the Punjab squad.