After lashing out on Punjab Kings’ decision to retain their 18.50 crore no-show, Sam Curran, expert analyst Aakash Chopra has now questioned the franchise’s outrageous move to finance an 8 crore deal for South Africa’s left-hand batter Rilee Rossouw who had an below average season for the Delhi Capitals last year.
Rilee Rossouw returned to the IPL circuit last year for the first time since (2014 the year of his debut) in 2015 when he appeared for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He had played just 5 games across his first two seasons with RCB, scoring 53 runs before going on a lengthy hiatus.
When his name was brought up during the mini-player auctions for the 2023 season, Rossouw was bought for INR 4.60 crores, a decision that did not help the cause of Delhi Capitals at all. He performed very inconsistently across the season and did not show up when it mattered the most.
His presence in the Capitals’ middle-order was initially seen as a reliant and solid option to handle delicate situations but Rilee Rossouw often turned off the switch during crucial moments, especially when he was needed to do something big.
The Delhi Capitals batting line-up struggled throughout last season and Rossouw added more tension into the mix. He scored 209 runs in 9 matches last year, averaging 30 at a strike rate of less than 150. Owing to his poor performance, the 34-year-old was released by the Capitals ahead of the IPL 2024 auction and he had remained unsold when his name was first brought into the auction room.
However, when he was up for auction for the 2nd time, to everyone’s surprise, Punjab Kings landed the Rilee Rossouw for a deal worth 8 crores, which is double the amount Delhi Capitals paid for him last year. It created plenty of backlash for the Punjab-based outfit that finished 8th in IPL 2023.
“They let Rilee Rossouw go at the start but later broke the bank for him. A very interesting pick. He played an odd good knock last year, one was against them only actually. I remember it was a match against Delhi, Rilee Rossouw was batting and they gave the 20th over to Harpreet Brar.” – Aakash Chopra said.
“How Will They Make A Place For Him?”, Aakash Chopra Asks Punjab Kings About The Role Of Rilee Rossouw
The Punjab Kings currently have 7 overseas players other than Rilee Rossouw and they include – Johnny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Nathan Ellis, Sikander Raza, and Kagiso Rabada. While Punjab needs to have Curran, Ellis, and Rabada on their side for the primary bowlers, the main question is who will make way for Rossouw?
Removing Bairstow up top will prevent them from getting to a good start and leaving out Raza and Livingstone might hurt their middle order. In that case, it becomes interesting to see where exactly Rilee Rossouw fits in, something Aakash Chopra too is keen to understand.
“Rilee Rossouw for eight crores – how will they make a place for him? Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Sam Curran – it will be difficult to make a place for him.” – Aakash Chopra concluded.