What Could’ve Been: 3 Alternatives PBKS Could’ve Picked Instead of Sam Curran for IPL 2023
The Punjab Kings, also known as PBKS, had a rough season last year and as per usual, they decided to make some changes. They said goodbye to former captain and opener Mayank Agarwal and didn’t pick him up again in the recent auction.
Instead, they went for rising all-rounder Sam Curran, spending a whopping INR 18.50 crore on him, making him the most expensive buy in IPL history. But, let’s be real, there were a ton of other players they could’ve picked up that could’ve easily added more value to the team.
The franchise already has some solid fast bowlers like Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada and some killer batters like Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone. So, spending that much cash on Curran is a bit of a head-scratcher. There were definitely other areas they could’ve improved going into the next season.
Let’s talk about 3 players who the Punjab Kings could have signed in place of Sam Curran –
Number 1. Mayank Agarwal
We all know that over the 15 seasons of the Indian Premier League, having a strong Indian core is crucial for a team’s success throughout the long season. If you look at the past winning teams, they’ve all had a solid Indian squad and it makes sense, since you have to play at least seven Indian players in your lineup.
But when we look at the current squad for the Punjab Kings, the big Indian players are just Shikhar Dhawan, Arshdeep Singh, and to some extent, Rahul Chahar. But apart from that, there’s not much experience in terms of Indian players.
Personally, I think they missed a trick by not picking up their former captain Mayank Agarwal again. He had a decent season with Punjab and could have been a key player in the top order, providing that much-needed experience.
They could have gone for Agarwal for a cheaper price, and with him in the lineup, they could have removed one of the overseas batters. And if they would have spent some of the Sam Curran money on Agarwal, they could have had the option to purchase another quality spinner or a gun fast bowler. But unfortunately, Agarwal will be playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad this season.
Number 2. Ben Stokes
Now, I know Curran was the most expensive buy at the recent IPL auction, but let’s be real, Stokes is on a whole other level when it comes to being a complete all-rounder.
The guy is a reliable middle-order batter, he’s got a knack for picking wickets with tight lines and lengths, and let’s not forget his incredible fielding abilities. Plus, he’s got experience in winning two white-ball World Cups for his country and has proven time and time again that he can perform under pressure.
Now, I know Stokes would have come at a hefty price, but the value he can bring to a team is way more than what Curran could potentially offer. And let’s be real, Curran hasn’t exactly been killing it in the SA20.
Another reason why Stokes is a more complete option than Curran, is his vast IPL experience. He’s played with Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiants in the past, and has consistently shown his class. His ability to snatch matches from the jaws of defeat is a characteristic that only a select few possess in cricket.
So, when it comes down to it, Stokes is the clear winner in my eyes. But, let’s see what Curran can bring to the table for the Punjab Kings.
Number 3. Adam Zampa
Adam Zampa, who was picked up by Rajasthan Royals for INR 1.5 crore, should have been a no-brainer for the Punjab Kings.
Now, let’s be real here, the Kings only have one main spinner in their lineup and that’s not a good look, especially with rank turners in Chennai and Delhi, where playing two spinners is a must on most occasions. Zampa’s experience would have been a huge asset for them and could have even played ahead of Rahul Chahar as the leading spinner.
Zampa has been killing it in T20 cricket, both in franchise cricket and on the international level. He’s been doing great in the ongoing Big Bash league, snagging 13 scalps in 13 games at an economy rate of 7.21, all while leading his side.
His wicket-taking abilities and the skill to choose the right variations for opponents is a crucial factor that he brings to the table. The Kings could have built a seriously solid lineup if they had a spinner like Zampa in their roster for the upcoming edition.