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Kings XI Punjab Preview: KL Rahul’s form with the bat and captaincy to set the tone

Source: iplt20.com

Kings XI Punjab have managed to reach the top four only twice and finished at the bottom position thrice so far in Indian Premier League. After a few big changes in the squad couple of sessions ago, the last two seasons saw some individual performers from the side. But collectively the results have not improved much. Under a new captain this time the hopes are high in UAE with their big-hitters and young spinners.

Squad
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad 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.

Captain: KL Rahul

Director of Cricket Operations: Anil Kumble

Assistant Coach: Andy Flower

Batting Coach: Wasim Jaffer

Fielding Coach: Jonty Rhodes

Bowling Coach: Charl Langeveldt

Strength and Conditioning Coach: Adrian Le Roux

Strengths

The combination of overseas giants and Indian talents is a forte of Kings XI Punjab. Caribbean Premier League stars Nicolas Pooran, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Sheldon Cottrell are in pretty good form and will be seen in the upcoming IPL as well. Glenn Maxwell is another key overseas player who will join after playing the limited-overs series in England. Chris Jordan is also busy in the same and one of the key players for England at the death. Chris Gayle, however, decided to join the IPL directly after opting out from CPL 2020.
The batting department has a bunch of young Indian batsmen- KL Rahul will be the highlight for the side after two brilliant IPL with the bat. The Indian team member Mohammad Shami will lead the fast bowling pack with two domestic talent Ishan Porel and Ashdeep Singh. The spin department will be handled by Krishnappa Gowtham and Murugan Ashwin mostly whereas Ravi Bishnoi should get a few chances in the helpful conditions of UAE.

Weaknesses

First and foremost, the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin can be huge. The spin department does not have any experienced name. Although the conditions will be friendly enough, the youngsters may face challenges for lack of experience. The same is applicable for the batting unit too. KL Rahul is the biggest batter of the side but he will have the captaincy responsibility too. A lot will depend on the not so star-studded middle order comprising Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Karun Nair, and Sarfaraz Khan. Chris Gayle is not the same Universe Boss anymore but it is important for KXIP to have the Gayle storm in the important fixtures.

 

Fantasy tips

Glenn Maxwell and KL Rahul would be the primary picks. On the other hand, Ishan Porel and Ravi Bishnoi could be great picks in lesser price only if they make it to the playing eleven. Chris Gayle has been a fantasy favourite for the players but will be it same this time? Time will tell.

 

Predicted XI:
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin.

A Masters in Mass Communication is following her passion for cricket through writing. Primarily a PR person who loves to write absolutely anything and everything about cricket.

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