We are half-way into the IPL 2020 season and things don’t look so good in the KXIP camp as they have had a nightmarish run this season winning just one of their first six games. Even though the runs have kept flowing from the bats of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, it is their bowling department that imposes a major concern for the Punjab side.
For the first time in 13 years, BCCI has announced a mid-season transfer window for both capped and uncapped players and KXIP will be itching to make the most of it and turn their fate around. Only a miracle can now save Punjab’s campaign and they will leave no stones unturned to find the right team balance that will help them achieve the impossible.
1. Mitchell McClenaghan (Mumbai Indians)
The main concern for Punjab is their fast bowling that is heavily depended on Mohammad Shami. All their overseas fast bowlers, Chris Jordan and Sheldon Cottrell have failed to leave a mark and leaked too many runs, especially in the death overs. They need a death over specialist and the most ideal choice for them is undoubtedly Mitchell McClenaghan.
The Kiwi left-arm pacer is lethal at the back end of the innings and has picked up 71 wickets in his 56 IPL outings at an economy of 8.45, which is pretty decent for a fast bowler balling at the death.
Once a definite first choice for the Mumbai Indians, McClenaghan has warmed the bench throughout the season so far and with James Pattinson and Trent Boult being in top-form, the chances of him breaking into the playing XI for Mumbai seem very bleak. Having him up their ranks will definitely help Punjab turn the tide in their favour as he can trouble any batsman with his pace and variations.
2. Fabian Allen (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Another major concern for Punjab has been the failure of Glenn Maxwell with both the bat and the ball. This has resulted in almost no batting firepower for Punjab at the lower middle order and they have failed to capitalise on the solid starts provided by KL and Mayank.
Fabien Allen fits perfectly in this narrative. Bought by SRH at the auction for his base price of 50L, he is yet to play a single game for them and with the likes of overseas players SRH has up its ranks, it looks very difficult for him to make it to playing XI this season.
He hasn’t established his finisher image yet but has a very impressive strike rate of over 160 in T20s. He will also provide KL with a much-needed extra bowling option and being a terrific fielder only helps his case. Not as reputed or experienced as Maxwell, but a multi-dimensional Allen is still expected to add value to the side in all departments.
3. Billy Stanlake (Sunrisers Hyderabad):
Another good option as an overseas seamer, Stanlake is known for his incredible pace-he can bowl deliveries as fast as 150 km/h- and can be a good addition to the Punjab side as a backup, fast bowler. Currently, with the Hyderabad side, the injury-prone Stanlake is not likely to play a game with Warner, Williamson, Bairstow and Rashid Khan occupying all four foreign slots and delivering consistently. His height is an added advantage as it gives him a good angle for bounce. He can also swing the ball and hence is a complete fast bowler. Punjab could use him to start their bowling alongside Shami if the need arises.