KL Rahul, the figurehead of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) as we look at the 3 important players who can help them win IPL 2020.
Barring one season when they reached the finals, the fans of KXIP have had very little to cheer about in the IPL. Adding to the frustration were the last two editions when the team failed to reach the playoffs despite doing well in the initial half of the league phase.
However, this is now a thing of the past, as with a brand new captain and a reshuffled backroom staff, the prospects look bright and encouraging for the franchise. Of course, solid work was put in during the recruitment period to ensure a balanced team for IPL 2020.
In the trade-window, KXIP made a statement by releasing their captain, Ravichandran Ashwin to Delhi Capitals. Further, by signing in-form cricketer, K Gowtham from Rajasthan Royals, the franchise filled the void immediately.
At the auction, Anil Kumble and co. were specific on certain players. With the highest wallet amount spent on the day, KXIP more or less signed the targeted players. While Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cottrell were the notable signings, the Mohali-based outfit made a few quality purchases in the form of Chris Jordan, James Neesham, Deepak Hooda, and Ravi Bishnoi.
While there is a sight of a strong core in the team, the focus would still be on few key players to do the job consistently. So, in this article, we have identified the 3 most important players (1 each from batting, bowling, and all-rounder category), who can help Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) win the IPL 2020 trophy.
Bowling: Mohammed Shami
Alternative(s): Sheldon Cottrell and Mujeeb Ur Rahman
It is surprising to note that until the beginning of the last season, Mohammed Shami had just 21 wickets to his name in IPL. However, in 2019, the Bengal pacer was terrific, as he picked 19 wickets, and authenticated himself as the leader of KXIP’s pace attack.
It is synonymous with Shami’s white-ball career in the Indian colors, which has found revival in the recent times. Athwart all formats, Mohammed Shami is probably India’s second-best fast bowler, and in the limited-overs, he is also one of the best in the world having performed consistently.
However, the challenge would be harder for him in IPL 2020. He is surrounded by inexperience, and if KXIP need to win games, Shami has to be on the mark in every encounter. Hence, automatically, he becomes a crucial part of this squad.
All-rounder: Glenn Maxwell
Alternative(s): Krishnappa Gowtham and James Neesham
As we all know, Maxwell is currently on an indefinite break from international cricket. However, the Aussie all-rounder has been busy in domestic competitions. Maxwell recently played in the Big Bash, where he scored 398 runs and picked 10 wickets from 16 games. The 31-year-old also excelled as the captain for Melbourne Stars.
Although Maxwell was mediocre in his 2018-stint with Delhi Capitals, none of it is likely to affect his performance for KXIP in IPL 2020. Maxwell enjoyed the best of his IPL campaigns in the red-and-grey a few years ago, and this will be at the back of his mind as he takes the field for the KL Rahul-led franchise.
While Maxwell definitely improves the struggling lower middle-order of KXIP, the cricketer also gives an additional bowling option to the team. Moreover, he is a terrific fielder, and invariably saves plenty of runs for his team on the field.
Batsman: KL Rahul
Alternative(s): Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal
Currently, at No.2 in ICC’s T20I batting charts, KL Rahul is in the form of his life. The 27-year-old has been in terrific form, across various roles and positions, for the Indian Team. He has been batting well, and most importantly, Rahul feels more secure in the Indian Team right now.
Hence, it came as no surprise when KXIP stated Rahul as their captain for the upcoming season. While this is an additional task, he will have to exercise in his stride, Rahul’s fundamental duty would be to win the maximum number of matches for his side, with the willow.
In the last two seasons, Rahul has amassed a total of 1252 runs at a terrific strike-rate of 146.5. Most occasions, KXIP did well when Rahul starred with the bat. The Karnataka lad must make sure that the upcoming season is no different.
So, these are the three players who are going to play a crucial role in KXIP’s maiden IPL triumph. Apart from these, KXIP would need Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, K Gowtham to name a few key players to also step up.
Thanks for reading! Who among the above-mentioned important players do you think can help Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) win the IPL 2020? Please, let us know in the comments section.