Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will begin their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign against Delhi Capitals (DC) on September 20 in Dubai.
KXIP will be entering IPL 13 with a new captain, KL Rahul. Although, Punjab never won the IPL title, but they have all the potential to lift the coveted trophy in the upcoming season.
KXIP have managed to build a squad which has a quality mixture of experienced players as well as talented youngsters.
Let’s have a look at their ideal playing XI for IPL 2020:
Openers: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal
Since Punjab’s head coach Anil Kumble has urged Chris Gayle to take up the mentorship role, it isn’t very worthy of expecting the Jamaican at the top order.
Team India Test opener Mayank Agarwal is the prime candidate that can replace Gayle. KXIP skipper Rahul will be the other opening batsman.
Rahul was phenomenal in the last season, having scored 593 runs in 14 games at a breathtaking average of 53.90. He smashed one hundred and six fifties last year. Mayank, on the other hand, had an average 2019 season as he scored 332 runs in 13 matches with two half-tons.
Middle-order: Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Mandeep Singh
A middle-order that has Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell and Mandeep Singh is capable of taking pitches and conditions out of the equation. Both Pooran and Mandeep can shift gears effortlessly, while Maxwell has the capability of rotating the strike as well as finishing games by taking them to the last moment.
The trio would be looking forward to IPL 13 in order to change their respective last season’s performances. Pooran had an average outing in the 2019 edition as he clubbed only 168 runs in seven matches.
Maxwell previously played in 2018, and he could only manage to score 169 runs at a dreadful average of 14. Mandeep, on the other hand, played 13 matches in 2019 IPL, scoring 165 runs at an average of 41.
Finishers: Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham
Kings have an admirable combination of finishers and all-rounders in the squad. The prime runners to be featured in the playing XI would be Sarfaraz Khan and Krishnappa Gowtham.
Sarfaraz can be a powerful finisher for Punjab. He was in top form in the Ranji Trophy. After the long break, if Sarfaraz manages to keep his fitness on track, then he would turn out to be a critical asset for KXIP.
Gowtham is a bowling all-rounder but can show skills with his willow, especially in crunch situations.
Bowlers: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Shami, Jagadeesha Suchith, Chris Jordan
It is expected that Kings will include Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Shami, as the duo has been fairly consistent for the Kings.
They have an option of the left-arm spinner in the form of Jagadeesha Suchith who shall come handy on slow tracks.
The last spot would be fulfilled by Chris Jordan, who is considered as an expert of death bowling. Jordan will also assist the side with his acrobatic fielding efforts.
Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Deepak Hooda and James Neesham.
Here is Kings XI Punjab’s ideal playing XI:
- KL Rahul – Matches: 67; Runs: 1977; Average: 42.06; 100’s: 1; 50’s: 16
- Mayank Agarwal – Matches: 77; Runs: 1266; Average: 18.34; 50’s: 5
- Nicholas Pooran – Matches: 7; Runs: 168; Average: 28.00
- Glenn Maxwell – Matches: 69; Runs: 1397; Average: 22.90; 50’s: 6
- Mandeep Singh – Matches: 97; Runs: 1529; Average: 22.15; 50’s: 5
- Sarfaraz Khan – Matches: 33; Runs: 408; Average: 27.20; 50’s: 1
- Krishnappa Gowtham – Matches: 22; Runs: 144; Average: 12.00; Wickets: 12; Economy: 7.96
- Mujib Ur Rahman – Matches: 16; Wickets: 17; Best: 3/27; Economy: 7.95
- Mohammad Shami – Matches: 51; Wickets: 40; Best: 3/21; Economy: 8.99
- Jagadeesha Suchith – Matches: 15; Wickets: 12; Best: 2/14; Economy: 8.80
- Chris Jordan – Matches: 11; Wickets: 12; Best: 4/11; Economy: 9.03