Kings XI Punjab have consistently underperformed in the Indian Premier League, reaching the play-offs only twice in 12 years. At that time, they had a strong batting and bowling line-up which fired except on the day of the final against Kolkata Knight Riders. Since then, Kings XI Punjab have consistently occupied the lower rung of the points table in IPL but in the 2020 edition, they will be determined to get into the playoffs.
They have a solid line-up of stars that seemed to have addressed previous other issues. They have a strong batting line-up, with two power-hitters in Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell as well as the solidity of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul. The bowling is well-covered on all basis, with spin and pace both being taken care off.
Strengths of Kings XI Punjab
The Karnataka connection – Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Krishnappa Gowtham and Anil Kumble. With the Karnataka connection so deep, it is a surprise that they are not titled Kings XI Karnataka. All these players have been part of the dominant Karnataka Ranji team in this decade while Anil Kumble is a master tactician. The conditions might suit their style of play, with Rahul and Agarwal good against spin.
Gayle and Maxwell – The Universe Boss vs The Big Show. Good luck for bowlers if they get their eye. If Gayle and Rahul fail, then they have Agarwal and Maxwell in the middle order. If both Gayle and Maxwell survive for over 10 overs, then a total of 300 is also possible.
Bowling depth – For the conditions in the UAE, they have three wristspinners in the side. Murugan Ashwin is an able spinner while Kuldeep Bishnoi was the star in the Under-19 World Cup. There is also Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who ended up as the second-highest wicket-taker for the Jamaica Tallawahs in CPL 2020. In these conditions, this trio, in addition to Mohammed Shami’s superb reverse swing and Chris Jordan’s death over capabilities make their bowling superb
Over-reliance on the top – Gayle and Rahul were the success stories of IPL 2019 as their opening partnership set the tone. However, with spin set to dominate, Gayle might not be able to get going easily. In case the likes of Rahul, Gayle and Maxwell fall cheaply, the middle order is slightly weak despite the presence of Mandeep Singh. Sarfaraz Khan has also struggled in the past but a strong domestic season puts him in a good space.Kings XI Punjab full squad
KL Rahul (Captain), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh.
Kings XI Punjab probable playing XI
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Kuldip Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman