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'Changed Our Buying Strategy to Include Stars,' Says KXIP Owner Mohit Burman

Ahead of the season, Cricketnext caught up with owner of Kings XI Punjab Mohit Burman, who talked about the team’s journey in the league so far and also the road ahead for the franchise

Arjit Dabas |March 21, 2018, 11:14 AM IST
'Changed Our Buying Strategy to Include Stars,' Says KXIP Owner Mohit Burman

New Delhi: After a mega auction, we are just weeks away from what promises to be one of the most exciting IPL seasons.

One of the team’s to look out for this year is the Kings XI Punjab, who have gone for an overhaul. They only retained Axar Patel from last year’s squad and started the auction with almost a clean slate.

The team has bought well, going in for a strong Indian core, investing in match winners and big names like KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle among others, a move away from its previous strategy of investing in young players and unknown quantities.

For Yuvraj, it is also a homecoming of sorts as he returns to the franchise where it all began for him. With perhaps his career nearing an end, Yuvraj will be hoping to turn back the clock in Mohali and once again entertain a huge legion of fans across the country.

The team will be led by Ravichandran Ashwin, which will be something worth keeping an eye on. Though no longer in the picture as far as India’s limited overs setup is concerned, Ashwin remains one of the smartest brains in the cricketing world and it will be interesting to see how he copes up with this new challenge.

Ahead of the season, Cricketnext caught up with owner of Kings XI Punjab Mohit Burman, who talked about the team’s journey in the league so far and also the road ahead for the franchise.

As IPL is set to enter its 11th year, what according to you has changed in all this time?

Certainly a lot has changed; we have concentrated on taking our game to the next level. Some teams haven’t survived. Some have faced suspension and have returned. We have had our own hiccups but have been here for 11 years and I hope to be here for the next 11.

What has been your most memorable moment so far in these 10 years?

The performance in 2014, that was certainly the most memorable moment, reaching the final and finishing 4 points ahead of our closest competitors. Not to forget, we were also unbeaten during the UAE leg of the tournament.

Kings XI Punjab seems to have gone for a strong Indian core this time around? Was that a strategy while going into the auction?

Earlier we were a bit light in this department (Indian players) and were clever thinkers in terms of spending the money. But our buying strategy has changed to include more stars as well as include the youngsters and give the best possible XI to the coaches so that we can win the tournament.

With the teams chopping and changing every year, is it tough to build a team which fans can relate to?

That maybe true to a certain extent but the teams and BCCI have kept this is mind. That is why you have the retention rule and also the right to match card. The whole idea is to keep the core together and then add/subtract whatever you dislike.

Kings XI Punjab is the only team in this year’s edition which is playing home matches in another city? Do you feel crowd turnout is a problem in Mohali?

The crowd turnout is not a problem at all, because it is such a long tournament it involves so many matches, sometimes it becomes difficult to keep the momentum and the enthusiasm going. That’s why we will be playing some of our home games in Indore. Also, this has been done keeping in mind BCCI’s policy of taking the game to different parts of the country.

With Ashwin leading the ranks, Punjab is the only side to have a bowler as a captain, does that make you a bit nervous?

A few nerves yes but I am looking forward to what should be an exciting season. Hodge and Sehwag have made a consensual decision and I totally agree with it. I feel this year you’re going to see one of our best performances ever.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3672 102
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
see more