Kings XI Punjab has the worst track record in IPL history. They have qualified for the knockout stages only once and that too was way back in 2008.
However, this year it may be a different story altogether. We might see a change of fortune this time for Kings XI Punjab.
During this year’s auctions they retained two players - David Miller and Manan Vohra which was an interesting choice. Their strategy during the auction was quite simple, go for the explosive batsmen and they achieved it too.
The batting line-up looks something like this – Virender Sehwag, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey and of course Miller. Not to forget Thisara Perera who can be as destructive as anyone.
Then they have solid Indian batsmen in the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Mandeep Singh and Rishi Dhawan who claimed 49 wickets and scored 435 runs in eight Ranji Trophy matches this season.
This batting order can take on any bowling attack; no doubt that it is being labeled as one of the most destructive of this year’s IPL.
The only problem they have is what batting combination they will play with since only four overseas players can play in a team. All the big hitters of the team are overseas players except Sehwag. Wriddhiman Saha will play the role of wicket-keeper and he has been quite good whenever he got his chances. This is a very good batting line-up but composition and balance will be important.
On the bowling front, the attack will be led by none other than Mitchell Johnson who can really torment the opposition with his pace and bounce. He can generate pace and steep bounce from any surface and if he bowls like he did during this summer, batsmen had better watch out.
Lakshmipathy Balaji, who will probably open the bowling with him, is a very smart bowler with lots of variations especially the slower and back of the hand bouncers. Beuran Hendricks is another bowler who has a lot of pace variations but it will not be easy for him to find a place but a good buy nevertheless.
The most surprising aspect of their bowling is the dearth of spin bowlers in the team; they only have Murali Karthik in their ranks. Other spinners of the squad are quite young and are yet to play an IPL match. This might haunt the Punjab team since the pitches will assist the spinners.
Overall this team looks quite strong and should qualify for the knockout stages but then the lack of spinners may hamper their progress. Watch out for Sehwag who might come up with something special this season.
© Cricket World 2014