The Punjab Kings are arguably the least successful side in the IPL, only reaching the final four twice (in 2008 and 2014).
They have not had success for quite a while. They will look to revamp their side and have the biggest purse in the auction.
1. Mayank Agarwal (captain)
Mayank Agarwal was one of the few bright spots of the Punjab Kings. He is one of the best openers in India.
His retention was granted after reports emerged of KL Rahul’s departure and it is likely he will have a leadership role of some kind. He will probably even be made captain.
Alternatives: N/A as he was retained
2. Devon Conway (wicketkeeper)
Devon Conway was one of the greatest stories of 2021, and showed great competence in both home and away conditions.
He was also the delegated wicketkeeper for New Zealand in their run up to the finals and therefore comes with that handy keeping option too. He could provide Mayank Agarwal with much needed support.
Alternatives: Jonny Bairstow and Quinton de Kock
3. Hanuma Vihari
One common problem with the Punjab Kings in the past has been frequent batting collapses. They have tried multiple people at number three, including the likes of Dawid Malan, Chris Gayle and even Nicholas Pooran.
They have all have done rather poorly to arrest such a batting collapse. What they perhaps need is someone who can play the role of a good accumulator, and provide the calmness needed to control the momentum of matches. Someone like Hanuma Vihari would be ideal.
Alternatives: Cheteshwar Pujara and Joe Root
4. Rishi Dhawan
Rishi Dhawan was a revelation in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare trophy to an extent where his selection as a pace-bowling all-rounder will be seen as a prime target by a lot of IPL teams.
Fortunately for Punjab, they have quite a lot of money to play with and will have the ability to buy him. Rishi Dhawan can provide an extra bowling option for Punjab while also maximising his utility as a batsman.
Alternatives: Vijay Shankar
5. Manan Vohra
An experienced Indian middle-order batsman is what Punjab will be hunting for when it comes to their number five.
They would want someone who is familiar with Punjab’s culture and someone like Vohra ticks many boxes. He also has matured quite a lot as a batsman and was excellent in the Vijay Hazare trophy, averaging 75.
Alternatives: Ambati Rayudu and Mandeep Singh
6. Jimmy Neesham
Jimmy Neesham has already played with the Punjab Kings in the past, but he really has matured and developed as a player since then.
He has one of the highest strike rates of T20Is and will have already attracted eyes in his knock against England in the World T20 semi-final.
He is also quite handy with the ball, with the ability of getting wickets from his limited spells more often than not.
Alternatives: Aiden Markram and Colin de Grandhomme
7. Jason Holder (vice-captain)
Jason Holder was called in as a replacement to an injured Mitchell Marsh in the 2020 IPL, and his selection was not questioned.
He helped the Sunrisers Hyderabad get to the playoffs both with the ball and the bat as a finisher.
With critical leadership exposure, he remains one of the best choices to deputise for Mayank Agarwal and give him the well needed support through his experience.
Alternatives: Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh
8. Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga rose to the number one ranked T20I bowler this year, and is also very handy with the bat.
Someone like him would be in demand and with a purse like Punjab’s, they can get him to maximise his utility. He has the ability to retain a bit of mystery spinning and he is able to also remain economical. Hasaranga has a future in the IPL.
Alternatives: Mitchell Santner and Mohammad Nabi
9. Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar is one of those players who will go for a big bucks, and someone like Punjab – who have a big, fat purse – might just have the resources to buy Rahul Chahar.
A great find by the Mumbai Indians, Rahul Chahar found his way to the World Cup squad, reflecting his calibre. And with age on his side, he is going to be a key spinning option for the long term.
Alternatives: Yuzi Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav
10. Siddarth Kaul
Siddarth Kaul was one of the leading fast bowlers between 2016 and 2018, and helped the Sunrisers achieve the 2016 title.
He did dwindle quite a bit in form, but has also managed to recover in the past couple of years having had a few good decent outings in the games he did play in.
Punjab is his home side and he is now also a vastly experienced domestic cricketer. Someone like him will know how exactly to exploit the conditions at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
Alternatives: Navdeep Saini and Prasidh Krishna
11. Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh was one of those very limited bright spots for Punjab in the past couple of years.
He drastically improved in almost every match he played, and also became more versatile bowling both in the opening and at the death with the intention of being economical or being a strike bowler.
His retention was somewhat justified given his potential and ability to remain calm in pressure sitautions.
Alternatives: N/A as he was retained