Aakash Chopra believes that the Punjab Kings (PBKS) made a mistake by failing to select a well-known Indian batter to replace Mayank Agarwal in the IPL 2023 auction.
Prior to the auction, PBKS fired Mayank, the captain from the previous year. The only specialised Indian batter they recruited to their lineup was Harpreet Bhatia at the mini-auction held in Kochi on Friday, December 23.
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Manish Pandey Could Have Replaced Mayank Agarwal: Aakash Chopra
Chopra explained why he thought the Punjab Kings should have had a better auction in a video posted to his YouTube channel.
“It was a middling sort of auction. They could have done slightly better. They haven’t resolved their problems entirely. When you let Mayank Agarwal go, you should have gone towards at least one Indian batter.”
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The former player for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) believes Manish Pandey might have been acquired to replace Mayank Agarwal in the top order, noting:
“Not that many options were there, I do understand, but there was Manish Pandey available. If you wanted, you could have gone towards him. You didn’t go towards any name. You could have kept a foreigner.”
The Delhi Capitals finally paid 2.4 crore to purchase Pandey. The SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), who paid 8.25 for the aggressive opening batter, outbid the Kings when the Kings attempted to repurchase Mayank at the auction.
Punjab Kings Didn’t Go Towards Anyone: Aakash Chopra
Additionally, Aakash Chopra listed a few foreign hitters the Punjab Kings may have pursued, saying:
“You have Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone as your two overseas contingent batters to play in the middle order besides Jonny Bairstow, who is an opener. I wanted them to pick one of Rilee Rossouw, Reeza Hendricks or Rassie van der Dussen. There were options available.”
The reputable analyst believes that the Punjab Kings’ inability to replace another Indian batter in IPL 2023 may prove to be a problem, explaining:
“They didn’t go towards anyone. So I am a little surprised. When you see the team, Bairstow will play, you will play Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran and one of Kagiso Rabada or Nathan Ellis is going to play.
“So you probably needed an Indian but they have not gone there. So that could actually be their Achilles heel.”
Chopra ended by noting that as the Kings have not put together a bank of Indian fast bowlers, Arshdeep Singh may have to carry a heavy burden. Rahul Chahar, the team’s leg-spinner, has no significant support, he said.
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