Cricalytics: IPL 2020 UAE Strongest Predicted 11 of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)

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A strong batting line-up, the focus as we look at the strongest predicted playing 11 of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for IPL 2020 matches in UAE.

If there’s one team that would feel pretty comfortable on the flight to UAE, it would be the Kings XI Punjab. Back in 2014, KXIP managed a 100% record winning 5 out of 5 matches- a record very different than their 12 years journey. Come to 2020, a satisfactory squad at the Auction, and a new captain in KL Rahul, KXIP would look to retain the momentum going ahead in the Arab cities.

Squad-wise, KXIP seem adequately stocked. While their batting is second to none in the competition, KXIP also boasts of good all-rounders, and quality bowlers. To conclude, Anil Kumble and the team would not have major headaches as they head to UAE, and It will majorly be about combinations. Meanwhile, do not miss the updated IPL 2020 Schedule pdf.  


Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Squad for IPL 2020 UAE:

Batsmen: Karun Nair, KL Rahul (C&WK), Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (WK), PrabSimran Singh, and Sarfaraz Khan.

All-rounders:  Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Deepak Hooda, Glenn Maxwell, Harpreet Brar, James Neesham, K Gowtham, and Tajinder Singh.

Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Chris Jordan, Hardus Viljoen, Ishan Porel, J Suchith, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Sheldon Cottrell.


So, looking at the squad composition and pitches in UAE, what could be the strongest predicted playing 11 for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for IPL 2020. Let’s have a look in this article.

Openers

KL Rahul (C&WK) || Chris Gayle

This is an opening partnership that has fired in the past, and hence, KXIP would definitely start with the duo at the top for the initial few matches at least. KL Rahul is the captain of the team, and will also be the most important batsman. He will also have wicket-keeping duties to perform. 

Chris Gayle might be inconsistent, but he would be slightly happy that his ageing reflexes wouldn’t hamper him a lot on the slow tracks of UAE. Nevertheless, he needs to strike big or else, Nicholas Pooran might be quickly drafted into the playing XI at his expense. 

Middle-order:

Mayank Agarwal || Karun Nair || Mandeep Singh

The middle-order of KXIP could have a few changes as the tournament advances, but at least for the initial games, we would witness 3 Indian players and Glenn Maxwell in the middle-order. Of course, Glenn Maxwell would bat higher than at least two of these three Indian batsmen.

Mayank Agarwal has all the elements to become a top cricketer, but in IPL, his form has been underwhelming. However, with Maxwell batting below him, Mayank will bat with a lot of freedom  Also, in UAE, the conditions could support Mayank to be more attacking, and rediscover his aggressive style of batsmanship.

IPL 2020 will be a make-or-break season for Karun Nair. Although Sarfraz Khan played more games than him last season, owing to his experience, Karun might find himself in the playing XI for the first games at least. There are just three stadiums in the UAE, and this will help Karun, who has had a tough time adapting to newer conditions earlier. 

Mandeep Singh would act as the finisher, and would be asked to furnish more than just the quick cameos. This is also a spot where KXIP can experiment with James Neesham and Deepak Hooda; both of them capable of playing the finisher role in the squad. 

All-rounders:

Glenn Maxwell || Krishnappa Gowtham

The words UAE and IPL 2014 would invariably lead to the name of Glenn Maxwell on any platform. Such was his influence through the phase that KXIP suddenly look championship-worthy with him in the squad. Maxi scored 300 runs from 5 games in 2014, and KXIP would hope that the Aussie can have the same impact in 2020 too.

Krishnappa Gowtham would be more valuable in UAE, as his slow off-cutters would be extra effective on these pitches. Of course, his run-scoring will also improve as he is perceived as a smacker of the slow and medium-paced deliveries.

Bowlers:

Ravi Bishnoi || Mohammed Shami || Sheldon Cottrell || Mujeeb Ur Rahman

The bowling unit of KXIP would actually be happy that IPL 2020 is held in UAE. This department lacks pace, but with the relocation, KXIP now hold a solid advantage. Hence, KXIP can also afford to replace pacer Ishan Porel with Ravi Bishnoi, who is a better bet on the slower tracks. That said, Porel, with his variations, will also have a huge role to play throughout the tournament.

Talking about the core, Shami would yet again be the leader of the pace bowling unit. He is an all-format-all-condition bowler, and hence, nothing much would change for him personally. Similar is the case with Mujeeb, who is likely to be the man for the middle-overs.

Sheldon Cottrell will lend the X-Factor to this squad. The West Indian bowls from an angle, and can also surprise the batsman with his variations. However, he will have to constantly deal with the competition from Chris Jordan and Hardus Viljoen in the team.

So, that completes the strongest predicted playing 11 for Kings XI Punjab for IPL 2020 in UAE. While this is the strongest XI, the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, and Ishan Porel could also be used depending on the pitch and conditions. 

The Predicted 11 for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for IPL 2020 UAE:

KL Rahul (C&WK), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Glenn Maxwell, Mandeep Singh, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. 

Thanks for reading! If you had to rate KXIP’s predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020 UAE, what rating would you give? Please, let us know in the comments.


ALSO READ: IPL 2020 Special: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Squad Rating for the season


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