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March 4, 2021

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IPL 2021: Anil Kumble reveals why Punjab Kings signed Australia stars

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Anil Kumble will welcome a number of overseas stars to his Punjab Kings squad (Picture: YouTube)

Anil Kumble says he is ‘confident’ Punjab Kings have the ‘perfect balance of youth and experience’ after signing up a number of Australia and England stars for the 2021 Indian Premier League.

The franchise formerly known as Kings XI Punjab endured an underwhelming IPL campaign in 2020, finishing joint-bottom on 12 points after losing eight of their 14 group matches.

Punjab Kings will welcome eight new players to their squad this year – six of whom will be featuring in the IPL for the first time – including Australian duo Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith and England batsman Dawid Malan.

Head coach and former India spinner Kumble said: ‘We were looking forward to some smart buys which can balance the core of Punjab Kings squad and strengthen our team structure.

‘We have the perfect balance of youth and experience in the squad. We are confident that we have struck the right chords to come out stronger and better.’

Punjab saw off competition from Royal Challengers Bangalore to sign Richardson, who has made ten T20 appearances for Australia, and also signed highly-rated Big Bash star Meredith.

On the Australians, Kumble said: ‘It is good to have young players. They bring freshness to the team and the squad.

‘It is nice to have no legacy of the IPL because sometimes the baggage can weigh down your expectations. I’m looking forward to having them in our squad.’

Punjab Kings also signed England’s Malan, who has climbed to the top of the ICC T20 batting rankings over the past year, and Kumble says he was a ‘good buy’.

‘Dawid Malan at one and a half crores is a very good buy,’ the India hero added. ‘He’s the number one T20 batsman so it is good to have one of the best in the squad.’

England T20 star Dawid Malan has joined Punjab Kings (Picture: Getty)

Kings Punjab chief executive Satish Menon, meanwhile, says the franchise have put together a ‘great team’ as they bid to win the Indian Premier League for the first time.

‘We went into this auction knowing exactly who we wanted and just went for it,’ he said.

‘We’ve got some interesting picks this season and have put together a great team. We’re excited, we’re motivated and we look forward to the new season.’

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