» Cricket » Kings XI likely to stick with Rahul-Kumble combo for 2021

Kings XI likely to stick with Rahul-Kumble combo for 2021

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
November 10, 2020 18:09 IST
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IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul with head coach Anil Kumble. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Kings XI Punjab are likely to continue with the captain and coach combine of K L Rahul and Anil Kumble for next year despite finishing sixth in the 2020 Indian Premier League.

A team source said that the owners want Rahul and Kumble take the team forward in the 2021 edition, scheduled in less than six months.


Rahul, who captained the team for the first team this season, had another stellar season with the bat, amassing 670 runs at an average of 55.83. It was Kumble's first season with the franchise.

Kings XI, who have never had a settled unit, have finally found a core group of players around whom a team can be built.

That group includes Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mohammad Shami, Chris Gayle and youngsters like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh.

The management wants to plug the gaps in the middle order and bowling department, which has been an issue for a number of years.

"The owners are happy with captain and coach. Rahul was exceptional with the bat and team scripted a remarkable comeback in the second half of the season. Had that short run not been called in the first game (against Delhi Capitals), the team would have been in play-offs.

"The good thing is a core group has been identified. Gaps need to be plugged in the middle-order where the team needs a power hitter and also a world class fast bowler to support Shami," the source said.

After losing the six out of their first seven games, Kings XI won five games in a row to find themselves in contention for a play-off spot but lost their last league game against Chennai Super Kings to bow out of the competition. The last time Kings XI made the play-offs was in 2014.
Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and West Indian pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell are likely to be released:
Kings XI had paid big money for the likes of Maxwell (Rs 10.75 crore) and Cottrell (Rs 8.5 crore) but both failed to live up to expectations, especially the Australian who made 108 runs in 13 games at 15.42. The team had bought back Maxwell after letting him go following the 2017 season.

"Their performance was not on expected lines and it will be tough to continue with them," the source added.

A call on their future will be taken at the team's review meeting.    

A lot also depends on the size of the players' auction ahead of next year's IPL  if it is held at all. If not a mega auction, Kings XI would like to have a mini auction where they can solidify their middle-order and death bowling.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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