The Kings XI Punjab franchise has had a torrid two weeks in the IPL 2016 edition winning just one out of the four matches played so far. It is not just the fact that they have lost three matches but the manner in which they have lost which must be concerning for both the owners and fans of the Kings XI franchise. They currently sit at the bottom of the IPL table due to a poor net run rate of -1.155.
This wasn’t exactly the start that new captain David Miller was expecting. Miller who has been with the franchise for a number of years is a key member of the South African side but has never been trusted with captaincy responsibilities at a national level. Miller’s form has been extremely poor and it is certainly not helping his team or his captaincy.
Was David Miller chosen by the Kings XI Punjab owners to lead the side because they believed he was the best man for the job or the only man for the job is a question that must be asked? Apart from the first edition of the IPL when the Kings XI franchise was captained by Yuvraj Singh, the franchise owners have preferred to have foreign players captain the side and have used the likes of Adam Gilchrist, K Sangakkara, M Jayawardene, David Hussey and George Bailey in the past but have never won an IPL Championship.
The added responsibility of captaincy appears to be hindering the form of David Miller who is known to be a free hitter. The Kings XI Punjab franchise needs Miller more as a batsman now than as a captain as their overseas players have not performed as well as the owners would have liked. Miller’s captaincy has also not been very impressive and some of his moves have been baffling.
He decided to promote W Saha ahead of himself and Glenn Maxwell against KKR on 19th April when it would have been wider to for either him or Maxwell to have spent more time at the crease and find form. It is clear that Miller is not a natural captain and is learning on the job, a luxury that the Kings XI franchise don’t really have as they remain at the bottom of the table.
The fact that Miller does not speak the local language also means that his communication is limited with some of the domestic players and will not help him in pulling the side together. It might make more sense for the franchise to handover the captaincy to M Vijay and let Miller concentrate on his batting which has let him down so far.