Kings XI Punjab pacer Hardus Viljoen will once again turn out for the franchise in the upcoming edition of the IPL. The previous season was Hardus Vilojen’s first in the extravaganza and while his performances were not extraordinary, the management has shown faith by retaining him. Ahead of the leg in UAE, the Proteas seamer remains confident of Punjab lifting the title this time.
Hardus Viljoen, who took seven wickets in six games last season, would be amongst the wealth of pacers procured by Punjab-based IPL franchise. Aside from him, the squad has the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Porel, and James Neesham.
In the batting department, they have the likes of Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh and Karun Nair. The team will also have a new captain in KL Rahul, who is a capable batsman as well.
Hardus Viljoen recollected the 2014 leg when Kings XI Punjab won all their five games in the UAE; a feat achieved only by them. Viljoen reckoned it’s a plus point; however, is not oblivious to the challenge that lies ahead. At the same, the 30-year old is optimistic they have a combination that is enough to lift the trophy in 2020.
“Kings XI is the only team that hasn’t lost a game in the UAE as yet. Mentally, it’s a good thing to have but not something to sit on. It’s going to be challenging but I feel we have the team to win the trophy,” the 31-year old said as quoted by Times of India.
KL has got unbelievable leadership qualities: Hardus Viljoen
The South African recruit hailed KL Rahul’s leadership qualities and holds high respect for him as a player. While Hardus Viljoen admits he met the keeper-batsman only last year, they have already got along quite well.
“KL has got unbelievable leadership qualities. I respect him so much as a player. I have only known him since last season and I have got along with him really well. I have had some good chats,” Hardus Viljoen claimed.
The Witbank-born further said that KL Rahul is always present to make the players comfortable, especially if the person is new or old. He underlined communication as very essential and reasserted his belief in Punjab winning the trophy this time.
“He is always there to help players. To make them feel comfortable, it doesn’t matter if you are a new guy in the team or older. That’s the most important thing — communication — and I feel that we have a great opportunity to win the trophy,” he added further.