A complete overhaul of the franchise last year did not change the Punjab Kings’ fortunes as they were destined for mid-table mediocrity for another season.
Punjab displayed an aggressive style of play in 2022, particularly in the middle overs, thanks to the strong hitting from Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Jitesh Sharma. However, their powerplay performance was slow, largely due to the slow starts from captain Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom struck at under 130.
Prior to the season’s auctions, Punjab released Agarwal, Odean Smith, Vaibhav Arora, Sandeep Sharma, Benny Howell, Ishan Porel, Prerak Mankad, Writtick Chatterjee, and Ansh Patel.
They also made coaching changes, hiring Trevor Bayliss as head coach, Brad Haddin as an assistant coach, Wasim Jaffer as batting coach, and Charl Langeveldt as bowling coach.
They have an available purse of Rs 32.2 crore, one of the highest this season, and can break the bank for a couple of players. They can buy up to nine players, three of which can be overseas.
In Sam Curran, Punjab has the perfect replacement for Odean Smith, who has previously represented the Punjab-based franchise and is in red-hot form. Punjab will likely need to use a significant portion of its budget to find a replacement for Agarwal.
Buying him again for a significantly lower price than the Rs 14 crore last year could also be an option, with quality Indian batsmen being a rare commodity. In addition, there are a few other areas that the team will need to address. They will also need to find an Indian fast bowler since Sandeep Sharma and Ishan Porel are no longer with the team.