It has to be said, when Kings XI Punjab purchased their squad in this year's auction, it seemed they have the squad to go all the way. The team was built around the mixture of varying individuals. Ravichandran Ashwin's analytical brain was joined with Brad Hodge's pragmatic, calm demeanor by the ever forthright Virendra Sehwag.
The Indian Premier League needed(and it still does) a new winner to rejuvenate the competition, Kings XI Punjab, it was hoped, would provide this league that breath of fresh air. There is a reason why people were hopeful from this historically unsuccessful franchise, and it reflected with the way they started.
They played this respectable brand of cricket, with the intent to salvage as much with the ball as possible to then leave it to their batting might. They had the individuals for it. Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb Zadran were contributing together to help the scintillating KL Rahul and the amazing Chris Gayle before the others were found short and exposed.
The moment these individuals stopped taking the team over the finishing line, the rest of the team line up left a lot to be desired. Kings XI Punjab went from having won 6 of their first 9 games and looking like the first team to go through to winning none of the next five games and being eliminated from the competition.
They have the core to take this team forward with the leadership of Ravichandran Ashwin but must look at only right individuals for him to work around next year.
Hence, team COC gets down to analyse and list out five players that are unlikely to feature for this team next year in the Indian Premier League, as they strive to win their maiden title.
1. David Miller
It is amazing how conditions make such a huge difference in our sport. David Miller at his best can destroy many bowling lineups but he doesn't when he plays in the Indian Premier League, and precisely when he encounters spin. The moment teams see David Miller, they go to their spinner. Miller has failed to give an impression ever with this batting that he is comfortable against it. You just can't excel in the IPL without being able to know how to counter spin.
2. Marcus Stoinis
It must be confessed, at the start of the season many cricket understanding people were of the opinion that Marcus Stoinis is the player Kings XI Punjab will look to build and balance their team around but it just didn't happen. Cricket is filled with stories of how good players went through a bad phase and it hurt their teams immensely. Marcus Stoinis is one such player for his team in this year's IPL. If he had got going, who knows where this team would have reached this year.
3. Yuvraj Singh
One of toughest things to do in cricket is to keep the emotion aside while making tough, honest cricketing decisions. And when the player like Yuvraj Singh is involved, you have a task on your hands. Yuvraj Singh at his best was a multi-dimensional player but now with his best days behind Kings XI Punjab involving him was as good as the 10 others that were playing in it. It is sad, but one of cricket cycles' harshest realities. Even if he doesn't play another game of cricket though, Yuvraj Singh will go down as one of the best-limited overs cricketer the world has ever seen.
4. Aaron Finch
It has to be said, you can have a group of best players to choose from for your side but if they don't serve the suitability and balance to the team they are surplus. Clearly, and as this season of Indian Premier League showed us, the best place to bat for Aaron Finch is right at the top of the order. He can have a good series or two batting in the middle order but to consistently exhibit the matchwinning prowess that he has in him, Finch has to be opening the innings. It looks unlikely to happen with Kings XI Punjab, though.
5. Mayank Agarwal
The challenge that Indian Premier League puts across a young Indian batsman, can be summed up by the way the last few months have panned out for young Mayank Agarwal. Always been termed as one of the brightest talents in the country, Mayank had an outstanding Ranji Trophy season for Karnataka but just couldn't get going this year for Kings XI Punjab. It looks highly unlikely he'll feature for this team again.