Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020 will step out with some fresh and new faces on the field. With Anil Kumble appointed as the coach of the side, Kings XI will head forward with more innovative strategies and impeccable ways to execute them.
The IPL 2020 auction saw team owner Preity Zinta spending big bucks on international as well as national players. The team management was clever to add some credibly powerful hitters alongside pacers and all-rounders in the team.
With R Ashwin being traded to Delhi Capitals, the team management has decided to name KL Rahul as the captain of the ship. The team was present there with the biggest purse and the need to buy the most number of players as they had retained only a handful of their previous signings.
Kings XI Punjab went for a tactical change with a new coach in the hood and dominated the 2020 auctions with the maximum number of bets.
As the auction for the IPL 2020 began, Kings XI Punjab management actively placed bets on the players they needed in their squad. They were able to dominate against some teams while on some occasions they had to back out due to financial planning.
The first player to be signed by the team on the auction day was Glen Maxwell. The close fight between Delhi Capitals and Kings XI hijacked Maxwell’s price, and he was sold to the team for 10.75 crores.
It is considered to be a controversial purchase by the Kings, considering Maxwell has only been able to manage 200+ runs in just two seasons of the Indian Premier League.
Nevertheless, he is considered to be one of the best all-rounders in T20 cricket. With Maxwell back in the side Punjab had to establish a great bowling attack to form a good team.
West Indian bowler Sheldon Cotrell was going to be a big name during the IPL auctions after his brilliant performance in the recent West Indies tour of India.
Kings XI stepped up and took a big risk by signing Cotrell for a hefty price of 8.50 crores. The bowler will be playing his first season of the IPL and has earned big chunks on his debut.
Kings XI eyed on some big talents from the domestic side and was able to sign batting all-rounder Deepak Hooda and bowlers Ishan Porel and Ravi Bishnoi.
Unlike the previous year’s auctions, team owners and managers focused more on signing bowlers than batsmen. Kings XI needed to support its bowling by signing some good replacements and death bowlers in the second half of the auction.
The team was able to lay their hands over New Zealand bowler James Neesham for a mere price of 50 lakhs.
The auctions were the only hope for the King’s XI side with only a handful retained from the previous year and they were able to sign some big names but the squad still looks incomplete.
With the signing of English bowler Chris Jordan for 3 crores, the team tried to create a mix in the bowling line-up but the team doesn’t have much variety in the batting line-up.
Kings XI will need to give their best in every single match if they wish to win the IPL 2020.
Kings XI Punjab: The complete list of players
KL Rahul (C), Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Krishnappa Gowtham, Harpreet Brar, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Jagadeesha Suchith, Glen Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, James Neesham, Ravi Bishnoi, Ishan Porel, Tajinder Singh, and Simran Singh.
Kings XI: Team Analysis
Kings XI Punjab team management and Anil Kumble made some smart choices this year as they spent 24.40 crores of the available 42.70 cr purse. A clear thought process and some tactical changes helped them assemble a formidable team for the tournament.
With the presence of big maestros in the squad, Kings XI will be the side to beat in this edition of the IPL. The opening duo of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle are capable of getting quick runs on the board in the opening powerplay.
The newly appointed captain, KL Rahul’s current form is a great advantage for the side and his capability to rotate the strike frequently will work in the team’s favor.
Anil Kumble, director of cricket operations at Kings XI, in an interview with Sportstar, praised the newly appointed captain and said, “This is the right time for KL to take over as the captain and when it is important to build a franchise around an Indian player, there’s no one better than Rahul.”
Besides the duo, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Karun Nair, Mayank Agrawal, Mandeep Singh, and Sarfraz Khan can fire whenever needed.
It will be either Glen Maxwell or Mayank Agrawal on the number 3 position as they both can handle pressure and bat accordingly.
The team’s middle-order is a delight on the sheet, but the coach will have to devise a way to help them perform to their full capabilities on the field.
The Kings have had a talented middle-order, but their inability to perform under pressure can be a major risk factor.
The bigger challenge for the team management will be to choose between Glenn Maxwell, who they’ve bought for 10.75 cr, and the Windies star batsman Nicholas Pooran.
The lower-middle order has a perfect combination of bowling-all rounders and lower end batsmen who are capable of hitting some quickfire shots to end the innings on a high note. James Neesham, Sarfraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, and Krishnappa Gowtham are some good choices for the team.
The departure of Ankit Rajpoot and Andrew Tye from the squad left a big void for the team management to cover as Mohammed Shami was the only death bowler left in the team. Kings XI reacted accordingly in the auction and bought Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan to fill up that void.
The combined trio of Cottrell, Jordan, and Shami can be lethal in the death overs and a nightmare for the opposition. The young pacer from West Bengal, Ishan Pooran has been a great performer in the domestic circuit and can add as the surprising element.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jagadeesha Suchith, and Deepak Hooda are the spin options available for the team.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has proven to be valuable in the previous edition for the team, but a bigger challenge will be to find a position for the player.
The current scenario doesn’t provide an open position for the spinner and it can be a worrying issue for Kings XI, as the domestic options can fail in dominating the opponents.
Kings XI Punjab lacks options in a big pool of great players
Glen Maxwell: The biggest signing for Kings XI this year
Kings XI have some big names in the squad, but the format doesn’t allow the management to play more than 4 foreign nationals.
The team is comprised of a variety of brilliant foreign nationals but the team lacks experienced national players and it can be a major risk for the team. James Neesham, Glen Maxwell, Chris Gayle, Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Hardus Viljoen can make up a brilliant team but only 4 of them will be allowed to play and the team management will have to select wisely. The decision for the management will be to either play a batting-dominant side or a bowling-oriented eleven.
Kings XI Punjab: Predicted XI
The team will look forward to playing its best players in the opening match, but it can be a major drawback for the team as only 4 foreign nationals are allowed to be selected in the playing XI. The predicted XI can be:
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agrawal, Nicholas Pooran, Glen Maxwell, Karun Nair, K Gowtham, J Suchith, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel
Kyro Verdict: Kings XI could be the favorites this year, but the team misses spinning options: Our verdict
After spending wisely in the auctions, Kings XI is one of the most dominant teams in IPL 2020. The team has a good variety when it comes to pace bowlers with Mohammed Shami leading the pace front of the team.
KL Rahul’s current form combined with the big hitters like Chris Gayle, Glen Maxwell, and Nicholas Pooran provides a great balance for the batting side.
Kings XI lacks some good spinning options and it can be a major reason for the team’s poor show this season. The team has Mujeeb Ur Rahman leading the spinning attack for the team but, he is most likely to be kept out of the playing XI.
To play him, the team will have to drop one of the big names and it can be a devastating decision. The lack of experienced national spinners can be a major let down for the team and could spoil the death overs for them.
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