IPL 2020 auction: 4 players who can replace David Miller at Kings XI Punjab

Ashwan Rao

David Miller

Kings XI Punjab releasing David Miller ahead of the 2020 IPL auction was quite an unexpected move considering the South African batsman was a mainstay in the squad for several seasons.

Miller, who made his IPL debut in 2012 for Kings XI Punjab, announced his arrival with a 38-ball century against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Mohali in 2013. He has been prolific with the bat for Punjab, scoring 1850 runs in 79 matches at a strike-rate of 138.78.

He also led the franchise in six matches during IPL 2016. Unfortunately though, Punjab lost five of those matches, which led to Miller being replaced by Murali Vijay for the rest of the season.

Miller's slump in form the last few seasons has eventually made Kings XI Punjab release one of their longest-serving members. The second-highest run-getter for Punjab will now have to move on from the IS Bindra Stadium and find a new home in IPL 2020.

At 30, Miller has several years of cricket left in him and he will be hoping to make a mark once again in the IPL for a brand new franchise.

Kings XI Punjab, however, must try to find an ideal replacement for the outgoing Miller to strengthen their beleaguered middle-order. Here are four options they can consider at the upcoming auction:

#4 Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan

England's 2019 World Cup-winning captain last appeared in the IPL in 2017, where he represented Kings XI Punjab. The 33-year-old, who unfortunately found no buyers at the last two editions, will be hoping to make a comeback to the cash-rich league this time with a lucrative contract.

The southpaw is currently plying his trade at the Abu Dhabi T10 league. He had an excellent run with the bat during the victorious 2019 World Cup campaign at home, amassing 371 runs in 10 innings.

During his whirlwind knock against Afghanistan at Old Trafford (148 off just 71 balls), the England skipper created the record for the most sixes (17 sixes) by an individual in an ODI innings and the fastest hundred by an English batsman at the Wold Cup (off just 57 balls).

An experienced T20 campaigner, Morgan has represented four IPL franchises so far - Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. He has also had stints in the Big Bash League, the Caribbean Premier League and the Pakistan Super League.

Known for his big-hitting capabilities, Morgan's addition will be a major boost for Punjab who desperately need proven batsmen to contribute low down the order as well finish off games.

#3 Ashton Turner

Ashton Turner

Who can forget Ashton Turner's scintillating 84* off 43 balls against India while chasing 359 runs under the lights at Mohali in March 2019! It was just his second ODI, and the hard-hitting right-hander announced himself on the world stage with a breathtaking knock.

The 26-year-old, who has been one of the key players for Perth Scorchers, couldn't replicate his Big Bash League success in the IPL after being bought at his base price of INR 50 lakh by Rajasthan Royals. Turner managed just three runs in four matches for the Royals in 2019, before being released by the inaugural IPL winners ahead of the 2020 auction.

With the Mohali deck likely to suit his game and Punjab in need of a reliable big-hitter in the middle-order, the Western Australia batsman could well get a contract with Kings XI Punjab this time.

#2 Colin Ingram

Colin Ingram

One of the most experienced T20 players around, Colin Ingram began his IPL stint with Delhi Daredevils during Season 4. After that forgettable stint (21 runs in three matches), Ingram made his comeback to the IPL last season after being bought by Delhi Capitals for a whopping INR 6.4 crore at the auction.

Despite playing 12 matches through Season 12, the Proteas batsman managed just 184 runs. His stint with the Delhi-based franchise was largely considered a failure, but he has been doing quite well elsewhere.

The 34-year-old recorded the highest individual score in Pakistan Super League history (127* off 59 balls) this year, in the process also becoming the first-ever overseas centurion in the league. Known for his attacking style of play, the destructive southpaw from Port Elizabeth has 6,452 T20 runs to his name in 256 appearances.

Having proved his credentials in various T20 leagues across the globe, Ingram might be a perfect replacement for compatriot David Miller at Kings XI Punjab.

#1 Shimron Hetmyer

Shimron Hetmyer

Shimron Hetmyer began his IPL stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore last season after being purchased for INR 4.2 crore. However, he failed to live up to the expectations, managing just 90 runs in five matches for the Virat Kohli-led side which eventually led to his release ahead of the 2020 auction.

Kings XI Punjab's interest in Hetmyer was quite evident at the 2019 auction where the Mohali-based franchise opened the bidding for the southpaw at INR 50 lakh. They went up to INR 4 crore before RCB came up with a winning bid of INR 4.2 crore.

Nevertheless, with a whopping INR 42.70 crore available in their purse, Punjab might go all-out to secure the dashing Guyanese batsman to strengthen their beleaguered middle-order. Given the 22-year-old's style of play, getting him on-board would be a long-term investment.

For Hetmyer too, this might prove to be a right move if he wants to express himself more freely - something he was unable to do in a star-studded RCB line-up amidst huge expectations last season.