Aakash Chopra comments on Punjab Kings’ probable buys at the IPL 2024 auction
By SMCS - Dec 8, 2023 12:30 pm
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Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra said that the Punjab Kings (PBKS) could look to acquire Travis Head at the IPL 2024 auction if they want an alternative or backup for Jonny Bairstow as well. However, PBKS have a remaining purse of ₹29.10 crore ahead of the auction in Dubai on December 19 as well. They can buy a maximum of eight players, including two overseas as well.

Punjab Kings (PBKS)
Punjab Kings (PBKS)

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “You can look towards Azmatullah Omarzai. You can play him in place of Sam Curran. I feel he (Omarzai) will do better than him (Curran). You can keep Travis Head. If you feel you need an option or backup for Jonny Bairstow, why not Travis Head? Lord Thakur is available if you need an Indian bowler and batter.”

Meanwhile, the veteran also feels PBKS will need to strengthen their lower-middle order, considering that they have released Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh was among the seven players released by them as part of its retention process as well.

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He said: “They will have to focus on Indians. Their focus will once again be on the middle order and lower-middle order, although they let Shahrukh Khan go. What will they gain if they bring Shahrukh back? Keep an Indian spinner if you get one because the spin-bowling department is looking slightly weak, where Rahul Chahar is a proper spinner, Harpreet Brar is okay, and then Sikandar Raza. They should do shopping in the spin department. You can look towards Michael Bracewell. You can keep Wanindu Hasaranga if you want. He will also be available but it will once again become an overseas issue. They don’t have an off-spinner, so I suggested Michael Bracewell’s name.”

Aakash Chopra believes the Punjab Kings’ decision to release Shahrukh Khan will not help their cause as well. Chopra criticised the Punjab Kings for their decision also.

Punjab Kings Jersey
Punjab Kings (PBKS)

“They have left Shahrukh Khan, Raj Angad Bawa, Baltej Dhanda, Mohit Rathee and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (apart from Matthew Short and Gurnoor Sing Brar, who were replacement players). I am genuinely thinking why did you leave Shahrukh Khan. Firstly, you didn’t use Shahrukh Khan properly. He did well also whenever you used him. Tell me what will you gain by leaving Shahrukh Khan because who is the lower-middle-order Indian batter you will get in the auction? You won’t get even one.”

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However, Chopra feels that they won’t be able to reacquire Shahrukh at a cheaper price if that’s their plan. He further added that the Tamil Nadu big-hitter will again be sold at an exorbitant price and that PBKS will have nothing to do.

“I was surprised when they didn’t release Sam Curran because he was bought for 18.5 crores and he didn’t perform. To be honest, I was sceptical about whether Sam could do well here because of the pitches he was playing on and the sort of game he has, and I was right,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “In fact, they minimised Arshdeep to settle him. They weren’t giving the new ball to Arshdeep just to give the new ball to Sam Curran. You went with Sam and (Kagiso) Rabada, and you left Arshdeep. Arsh was at the top of the Purple Cap race at the halfway stage, and, then, you made him fall. I was disappointed.”