The Kings XI Punjab looked a like power-packed team at the start of the Indian Premier League 2019,. With KL Rahul's match winning form and Chris Gayle's supporting starts, Kings XI Punjab started their season in the right manner. But as the season progressed, they started losing games in the powerplay battles and ultimately finished sixth in the table with 12 points from 14 outings. The franchise didn't have decent seamers, who could disturb the batsmen in the powerplay and keep them quiet in the death overs. KXIP also didn't have many sustainable middle order batsmen, who could keep the hopes of the team alive when the top order failed.
Now, let us see the three unsold players, who could have been helped KXIP to march into the playoffs.
#1 Manoj Tiwary
The 33-year-old is a middle order batsman and is also a handy leg-break bowler. Manoj Tiwary has played for the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Kings XI Punjab and the Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL. He has played 98 matches, scored 1695 runs and has remained not out 26 times. With seven half centuries to his name, it seems he could have helped the Kings XI Punjab's frail middle order. Though KL Rahul gave them a decent start in almost every match, KXIP failed to convert his efforts into victories. If there had been a player like Tiwary in the no.4 or no.5 position, it would have been an additional headache for the opponents.
The team could have also used a part- time bowler like him to surprise the batsmen. Though he had a good season in 2017 for the Rising Pune Supergiants, Tiwary failed to leave his mark in in IPL 2018.
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#2 Ishan Porel
Ishan Porel is a right-arm medium pace bowler, who plays his first class matches for Bengal. Porel made a major contribution in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup, which India lifted. He delivered match-winning performances in the semi-final against Pakistan and in the final against Australia.
Unfortunately, Porel went unsold in both seasons as no team were willing to pick him up. He is very impressive with his pace and swing and has a played enchantingly for Bengal in his first class matches. Ravichandran Ashwin could have used a bowler like Porel in the powerplay and in the death overs. Porel has the capability to play a key role for the team he plays for.
In the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, he picked up nine wickets in seven games and had an impressive economy rate of 6.5. Though KXIP tried Arshdeep Singh in a few games, it didn't work out. Porel could have been a better option for KXIP.
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#3 Morne Morkel
This IPL auction had many surprise unsolds and there were some big names. One such surprise was that Morne Morkel went unsold. The 34-year-old South African pacer has played for the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Daredevils in the previous seasons of the IPL.
Morkel is a bowler, who can break budding partnerships and provide decisive breakthroughs when his team require it the most. The tall fast bowler is apt for bowling in the powerplay and in the death overs, something which KXIP lacked this season.
Morkel's IPL career looks decent. He has played 70 IPL matches for 3 different franchises, taking 72 wickets. The South African could have been used as a replacement of Andrew Tye, and it would have been a deadly bowling attack if Morkel bowled alongside Sam Curran and Mohammed Shami for KXIP.
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