Thirteen is often considered as an unlucky number but at Kings XI Punjab, it struck a note for the perfect combination of youth and experience.
Despite the strongest salary cap, KXIP spent strategically to bring 13 new faces to the family, strengthening the core squad. The standout buys for Kings XI were Varun Chakaravarthy at 8.4 crores, Sam Curran at 7.2 crores and Nicolas Pooran for 4.2 crores.
Chakaravarthy’s bid, which was the joint most expensive player of the auction alongside Jaydev Unadkat, took the cricketing community by storm because of his relative inexperience in the game. However, KXIP have got themselves a T20 star in the 27-year-old mystery spinner who impressed all with his spectacular performances in the Tamil Nadu Premier League this year, helping his side Madhurai Panthers to the title by picking up nine wickets at a staggering economy rate of 4.7.
Had a close look at him last year at CSK nets... This guy Varun Chakravarthy have the potential to play for INDIA.. selectors should keep an eye on him.. he is a fast and furious spin bowler.. another mystery spinner ✅🔥..— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 18, 2018
Mike Hesson and co. triumphed in a five-pronged bidding war between Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals to add Chakravarthy to the family.
KXIP have also found their ‘Simran’ this year, splurging big on the 17-year-old whiz kid from Patiala, Prabhsimran Singh. The wicketkeeper batsman announced himself to the world by scoring a blistering 298 of 302 balls in a recent U-23 tournament for Punjab. A knock which has definitely caught the eye of the management.
Speaking of wicketkeepers who can bat, KXIP have got themselves a ‘keeper’ in Nicolas Pooran. Right from the onset, Punjab were aggressively bidding for the 23-year-old, out bidding a determined RCB side. The southpaw was the highest run scorer in the recently concluded T10 league of Abu Dhabi, notching up 324 runs at a strike rate of almost 250.
KXIP also bagged in Englishman Sam Curran for a tad over seven crores, who was again being targeted by RCB. The Punjab brigade were also successful in beating reigning champions Chennai Super Kings in their bid for Indian pacer Mohammed Shami, ultimately buying him for 4.8 crores. With Shami and Curran’s acquisitions, KXIP have managed to strengthen their pace attack with Andrew Tye being the only pacer with international experience ahead of the auction.
Apart from these signings, KXIP also managed a few prudent buys at base price by winning bids for the likes of Moises Henriques, Murugan Ashwin and Agnivesh Ayachi.
Being Punjabi, KXIP also roped in talented local mundas at the auction, picking up Harpreet Brar and Arshdeep Singh at base price. The other players picked up by KXIP were Sarfaraz Khan, South African Hardus Viljoen and Darshan Nalkande to complete the squad and give the team the necessary balance and strength to succeed against any opposition on any pitch.
Punjab went strong but lost out on bids for a few players like Carlos Braithwaite, Shivam Dube, Shimron Hetmyer and home boy Axar Patel. Nevertheless, the club effectively exercised their superior purse power alongside cautiously bidding on lesser known players to get us the 'Lucky 13' for the VIVO Indian Premier League next year.
|Player||Base Price ₹||Price Paid ₹|
|Moises Henriques AUS||1 crore||1 crore|
|Nicolas Pooran WI||75 lakhs||4.2 crores|
|Mohammad Shami IND||1 crore||4.8 crores|
|Sarfaraz Khan IND||20 lakhs||25 lakhs|
|Varun Chakravarthy IND||20 lakhs||8.4 crores|
|Sam Curran ENG||2 crores||7.2 crores|
|Hardus Viljoen SA||75 lakhs||75 lakhs|
|Arshdeep Singh IND||20 lakhs||20 lakhs|
|Darshan Nalkande IND||20 lakhs||30 lakhs|
|Prabhsimran Singh IND||20 lakhs||4.8 crores|
|Agnivesh Ayachi IND||20 lakhs||20 lakhs|
|Harpreet Brar IND||20 lakhs||20 lakhs|
|Murugan Ashwin IND||20 lakhs||20 lakhs|