Kings XI Punjab, after a bright start to the Indian Premier League in 2008, lost their way. The only time they could better their inaugural semifinal performance was in 2014 when they finished runners-up, losing to Kolkata Knight Riders. The rest of the seasons were insipid in comparison.
Last year Kings XI Punjab yet again failed to make the playoffs despite winning six matches of their first nine matches.
They lost their last five matches to finish at seventh place.
This time the team management has tried to plug in some loopholes, which include spending Rs 8.4 crore on Tamil Nadu’s Varun Chakravarthy, who along with Murugan Ashwin, is the new addition to the already strong spin department.
The top order comprising Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair is one of the best in the Indian Premier League. Their spin line-up looks promising with the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Chakravarthy, Murugan and Mujeeb ur Rahman.
The middle order needs to back the top order, which was average in Kings’ batting last year. Mandeep Singh, David Miller, Moises Henriques and Sam Curran need to keep up their form to add flourish to the innings. Also, Kings will miss the presence of a genuine seaming all-rounder.
Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), Chris Gayle, K L Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Shami, Hardus Viljoen, Varun Chakravarthy, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Sam Curran, Moises Henriques, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh.