With KL Rahul at the helm, let’s look at the predicted playing 11 of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for IPL 2020.
Kings XI Punjab were one team that had plenty of drama before the IPL 2020 Auction. Not only they released a good bunch of players, but they also revamped their leadership completely including the Captain.
Firstly KXIP appointed Anil Kumble as their new coach, and then traded their Captain, Ravichandran Ashwin to Delhi Capitals. While KXIP released few high priced players, they should be happy with the successful trade-in of Krishnappa Gotham for Ankit Rajpoot.
With highest purse available for the auction, Kings XI Punjab had plenty of issues to address including that of captaincy. They were in desperate need of a strong middle-order batsman, a good all-rounder, a fiery pace bowler, and of course a Captain.
KXIP did a terrific job to address these issues at the IPL 2020 Auction. They successfully acquired the services of Glenn Maxwell, their costliest buy for INR 1050L, a bargained James Neesham for just INR 50L, and Sheldon Cottrell for a massive INR 850L.
Additionally, KXIP were able to purchase the hard-hitter, Deepak Hooda along with death-overs Specialist, Chris Jordan. However, as they couldn’t hire any one of Eoin Morgan or Aaron Finch, they had to fall back to their best bet, KL Rahul as the Captain of the squad.
Overall, KXIP boast of a strong batting line-up which they will look to balance well with the relatively inexperienced bowling unit. While this aspect could define the team combination for KXIP, in this article, we list down the predicted playing 11 of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for IPL 2020.
The ‘Impact Players’
According to us, there are 6 impact players in Kings XI Punjab’s squad who must play all the 14 games for them. The list includes the likes of the Captain, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Shami, K Gowtham, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Due to a lack of quality spinner in the squad, Kings XI Punjab should definitely play Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the playing 11. Moreover, Sheldon Cottrell too looks certain to play most of the games, but Chris Jordan is equally good, and if they face death bowling issues, Jordan might get a go.
Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran are fantastic match-winners, but given KIXP’s overseas contingent and Team combination, only one of these two could be included in the playing 11. James Neesham, on the other hand, can be their trump card, if used wisely
On that note, here are the options and possibilities KXIP can look at when it comes to a proper playing 11.
Kings XI Punjab Strongest XI:
Kings XI Punjab are most likely to field Gayle, Maxwell, Cottrell, and Mujeeb as their 4 overseas players; initially at least. This would also be their strongest playing 11 with KL, Mayank and Karun manning the top-order. Also, at the first instance of Gayle flopping, Nicholas Pooran could get into this line-up.
Additionally, they can play either of Ishan Porel or Murugan Ashwin depending of the pitch. Considering they play the majority of their matches in Mohali, Ishan Porel looks a good bet for them for the playing 11.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:
KL Rahul (C&WK), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Porel, Sheldon Cottrell, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Option 1: James Neesham in place of Chris Gayle
Given the success as an opener last IPL, Chris Gayle is a sure shot starter for Kings XI Punjab as an opener; initially at least. However, he is not the player he was, a couple of seasons ago. Also, having him in the squad kind of disturbs Kings XI Punjab’s team combination slightly.
If KXIP does drop Gayle, James Neesham can be one of the potential replacements for him. The spicy bowling all-rounder can strengthen the bowling arsenal of Kings XI Punjab. This way they can play 6 bowlers, and have Glenn Maxwell as their 7th option if needed.
Here’s the playing 11 if James Neesham plays ahead of Chris Gayle in the line-up.
KL Rahul (C), Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Krishnappa Gowtham, James Neesham Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Ishan Porel/Murugan Ashwin.
Option 2: Modified Overseas Combination without Chris Gayle
Considering their big-hitting prowess, the temptation to play Gayle or Neesham in the line-up will be very high. However, an overseas combination of two middle-order batsmen and two bowlers can serve the best for the team. This is because these were the two areas that the team struggled with, last season.
While the opening combination of KL and Mayank can still work wonders without Gayle, Nicholas Pooran would make their middle-order more strong. This way their batting looks perfect with rare chance of a collapse.
Here’s Kings XI Punjab’s predicted 11 with a strengthened middle-order.
KL Rahul (C&WK), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Mandeep Singh, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ishan Porel/ Murugan Ashwin.
So, that’s how Kings XI Punjab stand when it comes to their predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020. What changes you would have made to the playing 11? Do let us know in the comments section down below.
Nesara is an Author at AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics. He is an Engineer by profession. Watching Cricket, Football & Movies is one of his topmost priorities within the day.