The Punjab-based IPL franchise rechristened to Punjab Kings and the team management would hope for a change in fortune after the revamp. Along with the skipper KL Rahul and his opening Mayank Agarwal, Punjab Kings possess a lot of quality in their batting, but the bowling department will require fixing in the mini-auction on Thursday.
Having already off-loaded the likes of Sheldon Cotterell and Glenn Maxwell, PK – who finished in sixth place on the points table last year – will look to aggressively bid for Australian duo of Steve Smith and Jhye Richardson. Smith provides more solidity to the PK line-up and brings wealth of captaincy knowledge from his time in charge with Australia as well as Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors in the past.
The franchise are yet to lift the IPL trophy and have only one third place finish and one runners-up position in the 13 editions of the tournament that has been held so far. The team under KL Rahul's leadership finished sixth in the previous edition held in Dubai, with six wins from 14 matches.
Retained: KL Rahul (c), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel
Targets: Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Morris, Ben Cutting, Daniel Christian, Jhye Richardson, Mustafizur Rahman, Steve Smith, Moeen Ali, Harbhajan Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Ankit Rajpoot, Umesh Yadav, Vishnu Solanki