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IPL 2017: Squad analysis – Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab finished at the bottom in IPL 2016. Can they move up the ranks this time?

By Jatin Sharma -


Kings XI Punjab team represents Punjab in IPL and has been one of the best franchises in the IPL so far. They are owned by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia of Wadia group and Dabur head honcho Mohit Burman and Karan Paul. Their home ground in the PCA stadium in Mohali

Kings XI Punjab had a wonderful inaugural IPL where they finished in the top four and went into the semifinals. However since then, their fortunes have been a mixed bag and they finished in bottom half of the table most of the seasons.

Their best season came in 2014, where they were led by Australian George Bailey and Punjab reached the finals of the tournament, only to be beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders. King XI Punjab was initially captained by Yuvraj Singh, though it has seen numerous players as captains and probably that is the reason for their inconsistency.

Let’s have a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Kings XI Punjab team.

Kings XI Batting

Kings XI Punjab has a good batting line-up that is capable of both chasing down a huge total and making a mountain of runs batting first. With the likes of Hashim Amla, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay and Shaun Marsh at the top of the order, Kings XI has got the fire power to lay a good platform. Then, come the likes of skipper Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and new recruit Eoin Morgan, who can rip apart any bowling at the death. 

The problem with them is the consistency with all of the batsmen. The batsmen they possess are of the highest quality, but not all of them fire consistently to benefit Punjab. Hopefully, the new faces in the team will help the team get some consistency in their game.

Kings XI Bowling

One can say that bowling is one weakness of the Kings XI Punjab. Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma and Axar Patel are very good bowlers, but they still require some support from others, which was absent in previous season. However, addition of raw pace in Matt Henry and Varun Aaron will provide that support to these bowlers in the team. 

Also helping them would be Tamil Nadu’s T. Natarajan, who was picked for his ability to bowl yorkers and slow balls at death. Axar Patel will have KC Cariappa and Pardeep Sahu along with Rahul Tewatia to take care of the spin department.

COC Probable XI

Murali Vijay, Hashim Amla, Glenn Maxwell (C), David Miller, Eoin Morgan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Axar Patel, KC Cariappa, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma

COC’s Take

Kings Xi Punjab has got the balance in their side this time and options and backups for every player. Under the guidance of the extremely clever Virender Sehwag, Kings XI Punjab will give a fight to the top tier teams in this IPL and very much have the chance to make it to the play-offs.

 

Jatin Sharma

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