IPL team preview - Kings XI Punjab pin hopes on 'unpredictable' Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell has been chosen to lead Kings XI Punjab
Glenn Maxwell has been chosen to lead Kings XI Punjab
©REUTERS
 

Kings XI Punjab will be desperate for a turnaround when they kick start their 2017 season of Indian Premier League next month.

They have been the most disappointing team in the history of the tournament having managed a place in top four only two times out of the 10 editions. In an interesting turnaround, the franchise have named Glenn Maxwell as the captain for the upcoming season despite the presence of England skipper Eoin Morgan and two World Twenty20 winning West Indies captain Darren Sammy in the squad.

The franchise continued their preference of an overseas captain - a move that paid dividends when George Bailey led them to the final in the 2014 season but failed miserably in the following edition. David Miller was selected to lead the team in the 2016 season but was replaced midway by Murali Vijay after losing five out of their first six games.

Maxwell himself was dropped for three games last season citing poor form and it will be interesting to see his impact on the side as a leader.

Performances in last three seasons

After a successful 2014 season, where they reached the final of the tournament, Kings XI Punjab had a horrendous run where they ended last in the group stage in the next two seasons. In the 14 games they played last season, they managed wins in just four and was found wanting especially in the batting department with two of their mainstays Maxwell and Miller struggling.

Released Players

Kyle Abbott, who recently ended his South Africa career to sign a Kolpak deal was released and so does his former team-mate Farhaan Behardien. The franchise will be bit disappointed to have released Mitchell Johnson consider his breathtaking performances in the Big Bash League even after retirement while Rishi Dhawan remains the other exclusion.

Bought Players

They suffered a minor setback after one of their recruit Martin Guptill will miss at least half of the season but they have strengthened the leadership in the squad further with the addition of Morgan and Sammy. The bowling will be given a bit more flexibility with Varun Aaron and Matt Henry joining them. T Natarajan, Rinku Singh and Rahul Tewatia are other additions for the upcoming season.

Key Performers

Glenn Maxwell - Had a struggling last season with 179 runs from 11 matches and failed to replicate his form from the 2014 season where he was instrumental in the team reaching the final. Despite, being part of the Australia squad, he has not played much with them either and it will be interesting to see how he will not let his form affected by captaincy and vice versa.

David Miller - Much similar to Maxwell, Miller himself was a big let down in the last two seasons for the franchise. Nevertheless, being a momentum player, if he finds his touch, he is capable of winning games on his own especially in this format of the game.

Squad

Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell (captain), Pardeep Sahu, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Hashim Amla, Shardul Thakur, Swapnil Singh, Manan Vohra, Mohit Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh, Akshar Patel, Nikhil Naik, Shaun Marsh, KC Kariappa, Armaan Jaffer, Martin Gautill, Matt Henry, Eoin Morgan, Darren Sammy, Rahul Tweatia, Rinku Singh, T Natrajan.

© Cricket World 2017

 
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