Kings XI Punjab : Probable XI and Team Analysis

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Kings XI Punjab : Probable XI and Team Analysis

The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to commence with defending champion Mumbai taking on Chennai in the first match. We are continuing our pre tournament analysis and this time we are analyzing the squad and playing eleven of Kings XI Punjab.

The Punjab team doesn't look bad or weak on paper, but I feel they will find it difficult to get the combinations spot on from the start of the tournament. I am not sure about this team and I would be surprised if they qualify for the playoffs.

Batsmen:

Karun Nair, KL Rahul (C&WK), Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (WK), PrabSimran Singh, Sarfaraz Khan

Chris Gayle and KL Rahul have done great in the past for the Punjab side. Despite some doubts over Gayle featuring in the playing eleven, I feel Gayle-Rahul duo can open the innings at least for initial games. Gayle might not be the same as he as few years ago, but still his ability at the top of the order can't be ignored straight away.

Rahul will have huge responsibility in his shoulders this season as he is captaining the side as well as keeping the wickets. His role at the top will also determine the fate of the team moving forward in the tournament.

Mayank Agarwal will bat at 3. Agarwal has the class and ability to perform and will look to capitalize this time around. With someone like Glenn Maxwell or Nicholas Pooran to follow, Agarwal will have that freedom to build his innings and bat throughout. Maxwell's aggressive batting will be a key in the middle order for Punjab. In case Gayle is set to be benched, Pooran will bat at 3 with Mayank opening the innings.

Karun Nair is the other name in the list for at least initial few games. Based on his performances and looking at how he can adapt to the playing conditions, the team can try out Sarfraz Khan too.

All-rounders:

Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Deepak Hooda, Glenn Maxwell, Harpreet Brar, James Neesham, K Gowtham, Tajinder Singh

It would be interesting to see how the team management will utilize the services of Kiwi allrounder James Neesham. Maxwell can roll his arms over, Deepak Hooda can bowl and even Gayle can give you few overs if required.

KXIP has the variety in their slow bowling options but I am not sure have they got the enough experience to deliver for the team. Neesham, Hooda and Gowtham all can be handy with the bat lower down the order too. It feels like Neesham and Gowtham might take the field for the Punjab side.

Bowlers:

Arshdeep Singh, Chris Jordan, Hardus Viljoen, Ishan Porel, J Suchith, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Sheldon Cottrell

Looking at the bowling lineup, they would be pretty happy that the tournament is being held in UAE and not in India. There might not be someone with fiery pace and that might be better looking at the playing conditions. Guys like Ishan Porel and Ravi Bishnoi can be more effective in slower tracks.

Mujeeb Ur Rehman will have a vital role to provide those breakthroughs. I personally feel that Mujeeb might as well finish the tournament in the top of highest wicket takers list.

Mohammad Shami will lead the pace attack and is expected to deliver big for the team. Punjab have nice options in the name of Chris Jordan and Hardus Viljoen.

Also Read: Mumbai Indians : Team Analysis and Probable XI IPL 2020

KXIP Probable Playing XI

Player to Watch Out : Mujeeb Ur Rahman and KL Rahul

If you have a closer look at the Punjab lineup, none of the Indian batsmen have a decent record in IPL except skipper KL Rahul. Mayank, Nair and Mandeep all haven't yet tasted the ultimate success in IPL.

Another thing to watch would be Rahul's captaincy. Rahul has been termed as future captain of Indian national side by cricket pundits and this tournament might determine his future as a captain.

It doesn't look easier road for Punjab to reach the playoffs. In case they do, they will have to depend on the captaincy of Rahul, Mujeeb's wickets tally and Maxwell's success in the middle overs. But I would not suggest anyone to place a bet on Punjab however.

The team selection and analysis done is purely personal opinion of the writer.

Ritesh Ghimire

Ritesh is a Computer Engineer, Web Developer and an active cricket follower. Being the founder of LetzCricket, he has been watching and analysing Nepali and International cricket and sharing his opinions through LetzCricket.