Players who may be released from the Punjab Kings camp ahead of the next season
Punjab Kings (PBKS) failed to qualify for the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season in the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). After acquiring the services of numerous prominent players, Punjab entered the season as one of the best challengers to finish in the top four. However, the franchise suffered from a lack of consistency in its performances and a failure to win consecutive games.
The Mayank Agarwal-led side depended heavily on its seasoned cricketers, but Shahrukh Khan, Johnny Bairstow, and the skipper himself didn’t live up to expectations, hurting their hopes of making the playoffs. Punjab finished sixth in the points table with 7 victories in 14 games.
Now, in preparation for the upcoming season, the team’s management will attempt to release some of their players who have underperformed and may not fit into their plans for the coming season.
Number 1. Sandeep Sharma
Sandeep Sharma is an accomplished medium-pacer who has been playing since 2013, and he was purchased by the Punjab Kings this year, but things did not go as planned. The right-arm bowler appeared in just five games, picking up two wickets at a 7.65 economy rate. Sandeep may feel cheated given his lack of opportunities this season, despite having 114 IPL wickets to his name.
The 29-year-old was not as frequently used by the Punjab club as he was by his previous side, the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Punjab didn’t have much faith in him, as he was sacked by the management after going pricey in the first game. Sandeep’s performances have also dropped dramatically in the recent few editions.
Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh have been the frontline pacers for PBKS, while the addition of Rishi Dhawan as the third pacer has added balance to the team. Taking all of the foregoing into account, he may be released by the team before next year’s auction.
Number 2. Odean Smith
The West Indies all-rounder was purchased by Punjab Kings during the super auction for INR 6 crore in the belief that he will put on an all-around performance and help the side win their first IPL title. However, his performance fell short of expectations, and he was subsequently released from the team after the first half of the IPL.
This season, Smith appeared in six matches, taking six wickets and scoring 51 runs with a strike rate of 115.91. The right-arm pacer was quite pricey with the ball, averaging more than 11.87. Smith was inconsistent with his all-around abilities but delivered once.
Because of his unreliability in all sectors, Smith may be released by the organization before the IPL 2023 season. Next season, Punjab will undoubtedly want a solid all-rounder. Furthermore, with restricted abroad quotas per team, PBKS will seek an experienced overseas all-rounder.
Number 3. Prabhsimran Singh
Prabhsimran Singh is a young wicketkeeper-batsman who was acquired by Punjab Kings at the mega auction in 2022. With only two Indian wicket-keepers in their team, Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma, it was clear that only one would receive the opportunity. Jitesh seized the opportunity and excelled throughout the season.
In the absence of skipper Mayank Agrawal, the hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman had one chance against SRH and scored 14 runs. He spent practically the whole season warming the bench as Jitesh Sharma rose through the pecking order.
Punjab’s treatment of Prabhsimran has made it apparent that the wicket-keeper is not in their future plans. Instead, the team’s management will look for a seasoned Indian batsman who can anchor the side’s innings in the middle overs.