Photo Credit: Kings XI Punjab
A look at what could be the best line-up to take the field for KXIP in IPL 2020.
With Season 13 of the Dream11 Indian Premier League less than a week away, the Kings XI Punjab management would be busy with countless boardroom meetings and ideations- to pick the perfect XI for their opening clash of the tournament. The game against the Delhi Capitals is to be played on Sunday, September 20, but before that here’s a look at a few different combinations that could be opted by Anil Kumble and co. for the first game.
Top pe Tashan
Kings XI Punjab have always had a strong top order, arguably having the best opening pair in the IPL in Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. Following up this destructive duo would be a good bunch of Indian batsmen in Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan- all of whom had good domestic seasons in 2019/20. In terms of overseas players, KXIP splashed the cash to get back Glenn Maxwell, and he would be an ideal fit for the team in that middle overs slot. Another player would do well in that top order slot would be West Indies wicketkeeper batsman Nicholas Pooran, who is coming off the back of a brilliant showing in the CPL.
Middle da Riddle
The KXIP management made a few shrewd picks in and before the auctions, roping in Indian all-rounders like Deepak Hooda, Krishnappa Gowtham and Tajinder Singh. All of these players would be a good shout for the team’s lower middle order, alongside seasoned batsman Mandeep Singh. Another alternative for the team could be picking New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, who offers a different dimension to his team with his seam bowling. Harpreet Brar and Prabhsimran Singh are two other local players who could be good options to play those cameo roles in the slog overs.
Spin da King
With the IPL being played in the UAE, Kings XI Punjab could benefit from their plethora of choices in their spin department. Murugan Ashwin was the second most economical bowler in the 2019 IPL edition, and Mujeeb ur Rahman was the second highest wicket-taker in the 2020 CPL edition. The team further bulked up their spin department by adding Jagadeesha Suchith and Ravi Bishnoi, alongside having part-timers like Deepak Hooda, Harpreet Brar and Glenn Maxwell.
‘Seam’ de la crème
In the fast bowling front, KXIP have recent acquisitions Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Jordan and last season’s sensation Hardus Viljoen in terms of overseas picks. While all three might not be able to play together on most occasions, the team is also well stocked with Mohammad Shami, Ishan Porel, Arshdeep Singh and Darshan Nalkande giving the selectors a happy headache.
|OPTION 1||OPTION 2||OPTION 3|
|Chris Gayle||Mayank Agarwal||Prabhsimran Singh (wk)|
|KL Rahul (c and wk)||KL Rahul (c)||KL Rahul (c)|
|Mayank Agarwal||Nicholas Pooran (wk)||Nicholas Pooran|
|Karun Nair||Glenn Maxwell||Sarfaraz Khan|
|Glenn Maxwell||Mandeep Singh||Jimmy Neesham|
|Deepak Hooda||Krishnappa Gowtham||Krishnappa Gowtham|
|Jimmy Neesham||Tajinder Singh||Jagadeesha Suchith|
|Chris Jordan||Harpreet Brar||Sheldon Cottrell|
|Ravi Bishnoi||Darshan Nalkande||Murugan Ashwin|
|Mohammed Shami||Mohammed Shami||Hardus Viljoen|
|Arshdeep Singh||Mujeeb ur Rahman||Ishan Porel|
NOTE: The aforementioned line-ups are an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.
Over to you: What does your playing XI look like? Let us know in the comments below.