With due apologies to IPL 2014 champions Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab were the best team of the tournament in the league stage. They also possessed the most exciting batting line-up. Any one of Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha could, and did, take apart a bowling attack.
Having failed to make the playoffs since the 2008 – the IPL’s first season – the assembling of the new team has largely been credited to the new coach Sanjay Bangar.
In an interview with the official IPL website, Bangar explained how he was given a free hand from the owners to put together the team he wanted.
“The owners left the cricketing decisions to the cricketing staff. Even at the Auction table they really supported the thought process that we had. From the cricketing point of view, we understood that T20 requires specialists for each position and at the same time we need to have impact players. We also need to give the right opportunities to the uncapped Indian talent. We tried to put the jigsaw together and finally ended up with a setup we aspired to have.”
There was also a decision to emulate the Rajasthan Royals approach of buying smart rather than just throwing money at big-name players.
“There is no shame in adopting successful strategies of other teams and we do believe we need to provide opportunities to the immense untapped talent of this country. Besides the talent, it is also crucial to look out for the hunger – it’s important to pick players who are really hungry to go on the field and perform and are looking to improve each day.”
That’s why the franchise was so eager to buy Maxwell, whose manic hitting that propelled the team in the early stages of the league. KXIP were able to get him because of their disciplined approach at the auction. Bangar and his team had identified fair value for players and if a player’s price rose above that, they would withdraw.
Since they passed on a number of players earlier in the auction, when Maxwell came up, Punjab had a bundle of cash to spend on him.
The rest, as they say, is history
For the full interview on IPLT20.com, click here.
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Updated Date: Jun 04, 2014 19:36:34 IST