Punjab Kings have this time roped in Shikhar Dhawan to turn their fortunes as they are yet to win an IPL title. On Saturday, in Bengaluru Dhawan became the first player to be acquired in the mega auction. The smashing ODI Indian opener who was part of Delhi Capitals till last year was sold to Punjab Kings for 8.25 crores.
Two IPL teams Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals did show a lot of interest in Dhawan during the bidding war however Punjab Kings got hold of him in the end.
The think tank of Punjab Kings has come with a plan this time as they not only looked for a new leader but also some marquee players in their squad. Shikhar Dhawan fits the bill as he has experience of leading Delhi in the Ranji Trophy and also has experience in leading two IPL teams SRH and DC.
Shikhar also brings truck loads of experience with monumental 5784 runs at the top of the order from 192 IPL matches.
After letting go of KL Rahul it was felt that Mayank Aggarwal would captain the team after Punjab Kings retained him.
However, after listening to the coach Anil Kumble after the auction it was pretty clear who he had in his mind.
IPL 2022: Shikhar Dhawan is the final choice to Captain Punjab Kings in the 15th season of IPL
“Oh, he is a great addition to the squad. His maturity will rub on other squad members. Everyone around can learn from him. He will be perfect leader for the team in every respect”.
Even Punjab Kings owner who seemed happy with the smooth auction hinted at the future leader of the team.
“I can’t give the name now. But we have got our captain. We will make the announcement very soon”.
Punjab Kings also acquired the services of Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone which adds a lot of firepower to their batting department. Their fast bowling attack to looks threatening with the addition of South African speedster Kagiso Rabada and West Indies fast bowler Smith.
The Indian legend Anil Kumble was happy with the job done at the auction. He gave his two cents on how different this mega auction was compared to the earlier ones that he was part of with different teams.
“There is absolutely more demand than supply, but I guess there were challenges because there were 10 teams and it was different,” Kumble said.
“I have been in couple of big mega auctions in 2011, 2014 and smaller auctions before this auction. This one has been really, really different and more challenging because every player, that whoever is going for, is going for a large sum of money, so the purse is dwindling no matter what value you have in your purse. The auction dynamics are very very different and you have to be nimble and that is something we realised in the last one and half days. You have to be even more nimble during this auction then the previous ones.”- Shikhar Dhawan