Big hitting Australian batsman, Brad Hodge, will be the head coach at Kings XI Punjab for the 11th edition of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL).
Hodge has taken over from Indian great Virender Sehwag, who has been named mentor-cum-director of cricket in the Kings’ court. The 43-year-old was with the now defunct Gujarat Lions for the last two seasons in a similar role.
Hodge will report to the Nawab of Najafgarh — Sehwag — as the two will hope to combine their experience and knowledge when Kings XI embark on another run at the title this season.
The Sons of Punjab had a testing season in 2017 as they came agonisingly close to qualifying for the play-offs before failing to register a win in their final league game against eventual runners-up Rising Pune Supergiants. They finished fifth, merely two points behind Kolkata Knight Riders.
Hodge has had a topsy-turvy run in the IPL so far where he oversaw Gujarat Lions’ finish on top of the league table in 2016 before hitting rock bottom the following year, largely due to the unavailability of his key players owing to injuries
Apart from his spells with Gujarat Lions in the IPL, Hodge has also been an active player for the Melbourne Renegades in the ongoing season of the KFC Big Bash League. Known for his tactical knowledge and smart thinking, Hodge will be hoping to have a telling impact on his new side, and will hope to play an influential role during the auction later this month.
Kings XI have retained Axar Patel for the upcoming season and will be looking to build a side around the young Indian.