Kings XI Punjab release Pujara, Balaji and Kartik

"He does not fit with the current team's composition in his role as a Twenty20 batsman"

“He does not fit with the current team’s composition in his role as a Twenty20 batsman”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Kings XI Punjab have released batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, pace bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji and spinner Murali Kartik.

The move comes on the last day before franchises have to send the Indian Premier League (IPL) committee a list of players that they have released.

Since they released Pujara, Balaji and Kartik, Punjab now have an extra Rs 4.7 crore ($782,000) to spend during the 2015 IPL auction.

Punjab spent Rs 1.9 crore for Pujara, Rs 1.8 crore for Balaji and Rs 1 crore for Kartik at the 2014 IPL auction, which was held in February.

However, even though Punjab reached their second IPL final, all three players failed to have a major impact throughout the season.

Pujara scored 125 runs in six matches at an average of 25, Balaji took 12 wickets in nine matches at an average of 24.91 and Kartik, who only played two matches, took one wicket at an average of 91.

Speaking about the decision to release Pujara, Balaji and Kartik, a Kings XI Punjab official said: “It is to do with Twenty20 and performance. Pujara is really a big name for Test cricket. He is a solid player. He does not fit with the current team’s composition in his role as a Twenty20 batsman. That is the same reason for the other two also.”

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