The 2018 IPL auction are finally done and dusted. Some teams have made smart picks while some have problem of aplenty. However, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were on shopping spree. However, they were denied some best buys as the remaining franchises used RTM. Yet, they brought some big players on board, basically power hitters. The highest bid player in their side was KL Rahul. From Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Rahul will now be seen playing for KXIP. He was brought for INR 11 crores. He was the first Indian highest bid player in the 2018 auctions until Jaydev Unadkat made an entry.
Their second best buy was Ravichandran Ashwin for INR for 7.6 crores that left many Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans disheartened. Following him was T20 hat-trick specialist, Andrew Tye. His auction was also timely as he scalped five wickets in the final ODI against England on Sunday. It was followed by Marcus Stoinis (RTM) and Aaron Finch who were sold for INR 6.2 crores. They also have the young Afghanistan spinner in their bowling armoury in the form of Mujeeb Zadran who was sold for INR 4 crores.
Here is how KXIP squad looks like after the auctions:
|Kings XI Punjab Squad|
|Akshar Patel||All-rounder||India||12.5 cr|
|KL RAHUL||Batsman||India||11 cr|
|Ravichandran Ashwin||All-rounder||India||7.6 cr|
|Andrew Tye||Bowler||Australia||7.2 cr|
|MARCUS STOINIS||All-rounder||Australia||6.2 cr|
|Aaron Finch||Batsman||Australia||6.2 cr|
|Karun Nair||Batsman||India||5.6 cr|
|MUJEEB ZADRAN||Bowler||Afghanistan||4 cr|
|David Miller||Batsman||South Africa||3 cr|
|ANKIT RAJPOOT||Bowler||India||3 cr|
|Mohit Sharma||Bowler||India||2.4 cr|
|Barinder Sran||Bowler||India||2.2 cr|
|YUVRAJ SINGH||All-rounder||India||2 cr|
|Chris Gayle||Batsman||India||2 cr|
|Ben Dwarshuis||Bowler||Australia||1.4 cr|
|Mayank Agarwal||Batsman||India||1 cr|
|Manoj Tiwary||Batsman||India||1 cr|
|Akshdeep Nath||Bowler||India||1 cr|
|Manzoor Dar||Bowler||India||20 lakhs|
|PRADEEP SAHU||Bowler||India||20 lakhs|
|Mayank Dagar||All-rounder||India||20 lakhs|
However, KXIP got the big fish towards the end of the auctions – Chris Gayle. He went unsold twice during the auctions and in the third round was finally picked by KXIP for his base price. They also picked out of favour Yuvraj Singh for his base price. He has represented KXIP from 2008 to 2010. Meanwhile, KXIP were also slammed by Twitterati for not RTM Sandeep Sharma over Mohit Sharma, who was RTM. Sandeep had scalped 17 wickets from 13 matches last year at 23.41 and has been a match saviour for them in several matches. Mohit, on the other hand, took 13 wickets from 14 matches at 31.53.
Apart from these big names, KXIP have also picked some uncapped spinners who could be used as cover at the need of hour. However, it will be interesting to see who will they opt as a wicketkeeper and captain.
With this bunch of young and experienced players, can they reach the final stage like 2014?