Mayank Agarwal to be named captain

The opener is set to be announced as skipper of Punjab Kings

Mayank Agarwal to be named captain
Pic: Mayank Agarwal (twitter)

PUNE: India batter Mayank Agarwal is set to lead Punjab Kings in the upcoming Indian Premier League season.

Agarwal, a member of the Indian Test team, was one of two players retained by Punjab Kings ahead of the mega auction earlier this month, along with promising pacer Arshdeep Singh.

A formal announcement is likely to be made soon.

Punjab, who entered the auction with the maximum money, made good use of it by signing Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada, and re-signing left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar and explosive Tamil Nadu batter Shahrukh Khan.

Dhawan's name was also floated as a possible captain, but the management seemed set on Agarwal being the leader even before the auction.

"Dhawan is a welcome addition to the side and was always on the radar at the auction. He is a champion player but it seems Punjab were keen on Mayank as captain ever since K L Rahul left the team," the source added.

Over the last few years, Agarwal and Rahul have been one of the most prolific opening pairs in the IPL. This season, Rahul will be the captain of the Lucknow Super Giants.

When Rahul was sidelined last year, Agarwal briefly captained the squad. Agarwal has scored 400 or more runs in each of the last two seasons. He debuted in the IPL in 2011 and has since played 100 games.

The 31-year-old has also represented India in 19 Tests and five One-Day Internationals.

Punjab Kings are seeking to end their IPL title drought with a strong team at their disposal. Their final performance was in 2014, which was a long time ago. In the previous three editions, they finished sixth out of eight teams.

Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency