Punjab Kings batting consultant Julian Wood said that they are the dark horse of the IPL and can win their elusive title this year. On March 14, the Punjab franchise appointed Wood as their batting consultant, with a focus on power-hitting technique, for IPL 2022.
Wood runs his coaching centre – Julian Wood Cricket Academy – in Reading, and he trains batters to incorporate modern-day T20 power-hitting techniques into their games, a skill that is simply a must in modern-day cricket.
In the past, Wood has worked as the batting coach of Big Bash League franchise Sydney Thunder and PSL outfit Multan Sultans, and has also worked alongside many prominent international cricketers like England Test skipper Joe Root, Indian batter Prithvi Shaw, West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite and England’s duo of Sam Billings and Sam Curran.
I was very excited about having the opportunity: Julian Wood on joining Punjab Kings
Wood said he is very excited about his maiden stint in the IPL and is trying to acclimatise with the new environment of the team and the new set of players in his coaching career.
“Very excited. When I was called, I was in the Bangladesh Premier League. Jonty Rhodes asked if I was available. I was very excited about having the opportunity to be here and now I am here, just jumping at the bits of a start really. Trying to get involved as it’s a new team, it’s a new coaching team as well, a new squad of players and the vibe and environment that has been created, it’s pretty nice to be in,” Wood told Sportskeeda.
“My exact role within the Punjab team franchise is as a batting consultant. But I see myself emphasizing on the ball-striking side of it. As I said before, these guys can all bat so I believe now in T20 cricket you don’t need batting coaches anymore. As coaches now you need more specialists and you need to bring some difference to the table to stimulate them and challenge them more and that is what I am doing,” he added.
I think we are the dark horse: Julian Wood
Punjab Kings have never won the IPL title in the last 14 years, in fact, the last time they qualified in the playoff stage was in 2014 when they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in the final by three wickets. Wood acknowledged that Punjab does not have the success as MI or CSK but the former Hampshire player wants to change the course this season.
“I think we are the dark horse, all the big guns the Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals everybody talks about them. However, I haven’t heard much about our team being mentioned much on the TV which is good as we can stay under the radar, though I think we are a pretty explosive side with both bat and bowl. So I believe we can win it and hopefully, we have a lot of luck with this one,” he said.
Punjab Kings will play their first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on March 27 at Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai.