IPL 2019: Kings XI Punjab - KXIP SWOT Analysis - Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat
It would not be wrong to say that Kings XI Punjab have had the least impact over the league as a franchise.
They were able to make it to the semi-finals in the inaugural season but have not earned any laurels since that except one year. It was in 2014 that under the captaincy of George Bailey and a stunning performance from Glenn Maxwell that the team was successful in qualifying for the finals, owing to a century from Wriddhiman Saha.
However, with the help of Manish Pandey's 90+ and Piyush Chawla's boundary in the last over, Kolkata Knight Riders won the title and KXIP were left cursing their luck.
In the last season as well, the team began on a great note and were sitting comfortably at the top of the points table after the halfway mark of the league stage. However, they were hardly able to win a match in the second half and failed to qualify by a whisker.
Openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle scored the majority of the runs for the franchise in the last season. Gayle was a bit off towards the end but Rahul kept scoring consistently throughout the season and played some breathtaking shots to end as one of the highest run-scorers. Chris Gayle showed his brawn by clearing the fence for fun.
This year as well, Gayle is in the form of his life and had a sensational ODI series against England. However, there might be a question mark on is consistency but he will certainly feature in the starting XI.
KXIP have four quality spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakaravarthy, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Murugan Ashwin. While both the Ashwins are more orthodox, Rahman and Chakaravarthy provide mystery spin options.
The franchise has an amazing top order with the likes of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal slotted as top three. However, the side is likely to go with Karun Nair and Mandeep Singh at number four and five, following which team does not have a lot of batting depth.
On days that the top order fails to fire, the rest of the batting does not inspire a lot of confidence. There is also a dearth of power hitters in the middle order which is a handicap if the team wants to score big on a consistent basis.
Kings XI Punjab broke the bank for two new players - Prabhsimran Singh and Varun Chakravarthy and spent over Rs 13 cr for the two of them combined despite both players having not played even a single IPL match till now. Prabhsimran Singh is an exciting talent from the state of Punjab and went for Rs 4.8 cr. There is a lot of excitement in the state regarding the big-hitting talent.
Varun Chakravarthy took the IPL auctions to another level as he claimed a pay cheque of Rs 8.4 cr. The right-arm mystery spinner had an amazing run for the Madurai Panthers in the 2018 Tamil Nadu Premier League and has a bag full of tricks up his sleeve. He can bowl the leg spinner, the googly and conventional spin as well. More so, he is completely an unknown entity and hence is likely to make an impact at least in the first few matches.
KXIP seem to be lagging behind in the pace bowling department. Their best bet would be Andrew Tye who is the master of bowling in the slog overs. With his variations, especially those slower bouncers and the knuckle ball are a handful for batsmen when they are trying to up the ante.
However, he did not have a great Big Bash season this year. After starting ordinarily, he picked up a bit in the latter part but still is not bowling with the same venom that he used to couple of years ago and remains a fringe player for the Australian national team.
Mohammed Shami is another international fast bowler that the team possesses. Shami has rediscovered himself in the white-ball format and has become the second choice Indian international pacer after Jasprit Bumrah.
However, this is a double-edged sword for KXIP as the Indian team management would now like to protect him going into the World Cup. Hence, he is expected to miss some matches which would create a void that a much less experienced Ankit Rajput would be expected to fill.
Purse after the auction: INR. 3.7 Crore
Retained players: Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, David Miller, and Ravichandran Ashwin
Traded in: Mandeep Singh from RCB
Traded out: Marcus Stoinis to RCB
Purchased players in IPL Auction (Dec 18): Moises Henriques (Rs 1 cr), Nicholas Pooran (Rs 4.2 cr), Varun Chakaravarthy (Rs 8.4 cr), Sam Curran (Rs 7.2 cr), Mohammad Shami (Rs 4.2 cr), Sarfaraz Khan (Rs 25 lakh), Hardus Viljoen (Rs 75 lakh), Arshdeep Singh (Rs 20 lakh), Darshan Nalkande (Rs 30 lakh), Prabhsimran Singh (Rs 4.8 cr), Agnivesh Ayachi (Rs 20 lakh), Harpreet Brar (Rs 20 lakh), Murugan Ashwin (Rs 20 lakh)
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