An ideal Punjab Kings auction from a social media point of view would be Preity Zinta going absolutely nuts with the paddle (as she did in 2018) and putting in a bid for absolutely everyone. But jokes aside, the auction is a big one for the team for Punjab.
After finishing runners-up in the 2014 edition, the team has failed to get going rather spectacularly and they have done this despite KL Rahul scoring big runs rather consistently for them. Their best finish since 2015 has been fifth place.
The reasons for their disappointing run are many but this is an opportunity for them to wipe the slate clean and make a proper fresh start.
As such, they have retained only two players – Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh – and have the largest purse to play with (Rs 72 crore) in the auction. It could give them an advantage if they play their cards right.
Players retained by PBKS & their values
|Mayank Agarwal||Batsman||₹12 Crores|
|Arshdeep Singh||Bowler||₹4 Crores|
PBKS IPL history
|Season||League stage finish||Playoff result|
|IPL 2008||2nd||Lost in semi-final|
|IPL 2011||5th out of 10||––|
|IPL 2012||6th out of 9||––|
|IPL 2013||6th out of 9||––|
|IPL 2014||1st||Lost in final|
|IPL 2021||6th out of 8||––|
Recent auction history: Hit or miss
Punjab Kings had the maximum budget in IPL 2021 auction with Rs. 53.20 crore and they also bought the most number of players. So in a sense, the mega auction doesn’t quite feel as mega to them. They are used to buying a lot of players and then not quite knowing how to use them.
They bought nine players in the IPL 2021 mini-auction after spending Rs. 47.90 crore and somehow decided they wanted to spend Rs 14 crore on Jhye Richardson. It is the kind of money teams would reserve for a proven world-class performer but this was Punjab and there is no guessing what they will do next.
They even spent good money on Riley Meredith but never really got him to perform. The same is true of Shahrukh Khan, whose finishing abilities only came into play later in the season by which point the damage had already been done.
Glenn Maxwell was part of their squad too but they failed to get the best out of him. Punjab have a knack of looking very good on paper but not quite knowing what to do with the talent they have at their disposal.
They would have had the option of trying to retain Deepak Hooda or Mohammed Shami as well but they have clearly decided that they would rather risk it all in the auction.
Any off-season changes since IPL 2021?
Anil Kumble remains the man in charge and he will be able to fall back on Wasim Jaffer (Batting Coach), Jonty Rhodes (Fielding Coach) and Damien Wright (Bowling Coach) for help to try and pick the right players. The big miss for the team is KL Rahul, who chose to move to Lucknow Super Giants.
It means they need to look for leaders as well. Agarwal could be the captain they want or need but it will be quite the task.
Who’s saying what
Talking on Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin’s Youtube channel, Ex-IPL auctioneer Richard Madley said while speaking about Punjab’s strategy: “I never knew what was going to happen. I had no idea who they were going to bid for. When they were going. Where there were going to finish. I am not sure they did either. A strategy, if there was one, was kept so secret that not even the person holding the necessarily seem to know.”
We’ll know soon enough if there has been any change since then.
Overall purse remaining for all 10 teams
|Franchisee||Salary cap remaining (Rs cr)||Open player slots||Open overseas player slots|
|Chennai Super Kings||48||21||7|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||48||21||6|
|Lucknow Super Giants||59||22||7|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||57||22||7|