Indian T20 League: Who should be Punjab's four overseas players?
Punjab have a rather understated squad for Indian T20 League 2020 with a strong top and middle-order and a threatening T20 bowling attack. After a few years of slump, it's time they turn up the wick at the Indian T20 League and the squad suggests that they are determined to do better than the last few years. Here, we glance at the four regular overseas picks that could complete their XI.
Overseas players: Chris Gayle, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Nicholas Pooran
The No. 1 overseas pick in the Punjab setup for the season should be Mujeeb-ur-Rahman. The Afghanistan mystery spinner is a powerplay bowler who can turn the ball both ways and is handy against both left and right-handers at the top of the order. With Punjab having no certain new ball bowler, Mujeeb should easily be a first-choice bowler to start.
Easy as you like to the eye, Nicholas Pooran has shades of Yuvraj Singh at times without the extravagant backlift and is a T20 beast. One of the most exciting T20 batsmen in the world - and especially familiar with slow conditions - Pooran should be a certainty in the Punjab middle-order this Indian T20 League season despite the minimal chances last year.
A fantastic hitter of spin, Glenn Maxwell should forge one of the most dangerous middle-order pairings alongside Nicholas Pooran this season. The Aussie is a terrific middle and death overs batsman and can up the tempo even in crisis situations. While his last few stints in the Indian T20 League haven't been all that successful, his recent record at national level means that Maxwell should start this year.
Although he is well past accepted levels of a batsman's prime, Chris Gayle continues to be a force to reckon with in T20s. He and KL Rahul will be banked upon to provide good starts although Gayle might start in lesser games than usual given the pitches and troubles against pace early on. The West Indian can win matches on his own from the top and this invaluable skill makes him a better pick than perhaps more consistent T20 players like Sheldon Cottrell or James Neesham.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain