Home > Features >

IPL 7 Player Retentions: Kings XI Punjab gamble with Manan Vohra while investing in David Miller

David Miller © PTI
South African David Miller is one of the two players retained by the Kings XI Punjab franchise © PTI

Kings XI Punjab retained David Miller and Manan Vohra ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL), 2014.  While Miller’s retention was somewhat expected, keeping Manan Vohra is a gamble and they would hope it pays off. Abhijit Banare analyses what could be Punjab’s strategy going forward.

If there was any team that would have started the season with a clean sheet it would have been Kings XI Punjab. Ever since the first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), this team has been consistently languishing in the second half of the points table. It was only during the maiden season that they made it through to the second round. And looking at the key players they had in their roster during the previous  three seasons, Punjab had nothing to lose in this auction. They either had the option of not retaining anyone and bid for their main batsman David Miller under ‘Right to Match’; or keeping the South African at the outset. Punjab chose the latter — a sensible call.

Why Manan Vohra?

Manan Vohra’s selection came out of the blue. A player whose top score was only 43 in 12 innings, one would have said that he hardly stood a chance, but Punjab have went ahead and too a gamble of having a good Indian player ahead of the established stars in David Hussey and Shaun Marsh. Investing in Vohra , they have not just gambled on a young player coming good, but also cut their purse considerably when the auction is held in February.

But if we consider potential, Vohra can still be a good catch. In his last 14 innings for Punjab (domestic) and in the U-25 tournaments, the youngster has scored four centuries and three fifties, which includes a 187 against Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy. Moreover, his abilities came in for great praise during the previous season where commentators lauded his technique. Vohra could be one of the key players in the Punjab middle-order. On any given day, Vohra hardly stood a chance in comparison to Hussey, Marsh or even Mandeep Singh. But we have often seen IPL springing up surprises. It takes just two or three consecutive innings for a player to gain momentum and then convert it into a good season.

To dig a bit into the pool of players Punjab had, among Indians, Piyush Chawla, Parvinder Awana, Manpreet Gony, Mandeep Singh and Sandeep Sharma featured consistently in the playing XI in the previous edition. But none of them had a record which could instill confidence in the team owners to spend crores to retain them.

Whom will they bid for at the auction?

Like Rajasthan; Punjab too were walking on the moneyball strategy with lesser known players. Their target will more or less be on the same lines but they would be smarter in understanding the skill and output of the players going forward. They will surely be looking at Indian performers, especially those who sizzled in the Ranji Trophy.

In terms of star players, there is a good chance that Punjab will eye Yuvraj Singh. The southpaw was part of the now defunct Pune Warriors India and would go under the hammer.  Yuvraj, though out of form, can never be written off. There is always a lurking danger of him striking form anytime. Whether Punjab will see a leader in him is something to wait and watch. Yuvraj, in this form, is likely to command a much lesser price. And Punjab not having a good history of splurging on big players will eye for Yuvraj on a comparatively lesser cost.

At the end of it, this is just one more opportunity for Punjab to start with a clean slate and script their success story. . They need a leader, a match-winner and every ingredient that goes in the making of a good team which would include an equally effective coach. Punjab have a lot to look forward to and it all boils down to how hungry the owners are to put together a really strong team.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Cardiff

More

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 177 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

Photos

England Women vs India Women 2014, 1st ODI at Scarborough

Videos

Morgan talks upcoming ODI series and World Cup

India tour of England 2014: Blaming WAGs for India’s poor run is childish

India look to regain confidence in warm-up match ahead of ODI series against England

India tour of England 2014: Visitor’s recent record in overseas ODIs a cause for concern

India tour of England 2014: Is county cricket really the answer for Indian batsmen?

India vs England 2014: Ideal opportunity for Sanju Samson and other youngsters to shine

Bangladesh England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ravi Shastri South Africa tour of Zimbabwe 2014 South Africa vs Zimbabwe Sri Lanka West Indies Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs South Africa

Shoaib Malik: When playing for Pakistan, my role in the team is not made clear

West Indies steamroll Bangladesh by 177 runs in 2nd ODI at Grenada, take series 2-0

Yuvraj Singh pays tributes to yoga guru Iyengar

CAB’s appeal in Supreme Court transferred to different bench

India vs England 2014: India register 95-run victory over Middlesex in tour game

Stephen Fleming: New Zealand tour to England in 1999 is one of my best moments

India tour of England 2014: Blaming WAGs for India’s poor run is childish

India look to regain confidence in warm-up match ahead of ODI series against England

India tour of England 2014: Visitor’s recent record in overseas ODIs a cause for concern

India tour of England 2014: Duncan Fletcher’s see-saw coaching career could be at its end

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

660 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny Cricket Wonders and Blunders

Rajkumar Hirani, Gauri Shinde, Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Anurag Basu to do cameos in Amitabh Bachchan’s Shamitabh!

Brendan Rodgers confident that Mario Balotelli will not negatively affect Liverpool’s ambience

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita let Simmi live with her husband?

Merkel slams Russia over Ukraine convoy

Second Mumbai Metro project set to commence on Aug 26

UN Security Council to meet over Russia aid convoy

Latest Ebola News: Why pregnant women and infants are more susceptible to Ebola

Shoaib Malik: When playing for Pakistan, my role in the team is not made clear

5 diseases that may give you no warning signs

Apple iPhone 6 confirmed by Chinese carrier ahead of September 9 launch

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here