Kings XI Punjab started of very well as they were the number two side in the points table on the inaugural edition of IPL. They reached the semifinals and were expected to better their result in the coming seasons. It never happened though as after that they never reached the last four-stage again. In 2009, they played well but finished fifth. The next season saw the team from Punjab at their worst as they finished last in the points table and had only four wins against their name. This resulted in some massive changes in their side as they did not retain even a single player.
Last year with a new team, Punjab looked good and finished on the fifth place. They looked good and had seven victories against their name. The Punjab team do not look dominant and will be happy if they reach the last four stage in IPL V. They have some individual brilliance in their side but as a team they don’t look that threatening. But, one thing that is in favor of the Punjab team is that their leader, Adam Gilchrist who has seen it all and in the past has taken a similar sort of team to the title win. He achieved the feat with Deccan Chargers and the Kings XI team will be hoping for the same magic from the dashing Australian.
International Players: Adam Gilchrist will open the innings for the team. Gilchrist is considered to be the best ever wicketkeeper-batsmen of all time. He is one of the most devastating openers and can hit the ball miles. Gilchrist retired from the international arena when he was at his best, but even after retiring he remains one of the best batsmen going around. He can hit any bowler on any pitch and will be hoping to lead from the front. Kings XI has an Australian tinge in their team. Gilchrist will be supported by his fellow countryman, Shaun Marsh. Marsh has been one of the best IPL batsmen and his record speaks for itself. Marsh earned a berth in the Australian side because of his IPL performances. He may not have been a prolific run-scorer for his country but when it comes to IPL, he is the man to look up to. Marsh plays well against both fast bowling and spinners and he is one of the best number three batsmen in the tournament.
David Hussey is also going to add the strength to the Punjab batting line-up. David Hussey has been scoring heavily for his country in the recent past and is coming into the tournament with good form behind his back. Hussey has the ability to finish the match and has a notch of scoring runs at critical parts. Former Pakistani all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has been roped in by the Kings in this years’ auction. Mahmood is a superb hitter and is a very experienced cricketer in this format. He will certainly add value to the team.
Domestic Players: Kings XI Punjab is a bit weak in this area. Paul Valthaty was the lone shining point for them in the last season and again will be the batsman to watch out for. Valthaty played some match winning knocks for his team and Punjab will be relying on him heavily. Abhishek Nayar played well in the first three seasons for Mumbai. But the last season, his first for Punjab did not go well for him. The home team will have high hopes from this left-hander and will be praying for him to come good.
International Players: Aussie fast bowler Ryan Harris will lead the bowling attack for Punjab. He has been a very effective bowler for both Punjab and his country in T20 format. He bowls at good pace and can rattle the stumps regularly with his accurate Yorkers. Harris will be supported by England T20 captain Stuart Broad. Broad is the new edition for this side and will be expected to perform well going by his recent performances. Broad likes bowling at the death overs and can swing the ball at a fast speed. Broad is also very handy with the bat and has the ability to score some quick runs. Then Punjab have two medium pace all-rounders in the form of Mahmood and Dimitri Mascarenhas. Both the bowlers change the pace very efficiently and have tremendous control in their bowling. Punjab pace battery looks good with these international bowlers.
Domestic Players: Praveen Kumar will open the bowling for Punjab. Kumar has shown it over the years that he can swing the new ball both ways and can produce early wickets. Praveen Kumar is very hard to hit in the initial overs as he bowls a perfect length and can come in handy with his change of pace in the death overs. Praveen was not able to make much influence last year and would be hoping to get the record straight. His U.P team mate Piyush Chawla is the leading spinner in the side. This young leg-spinner has played at the highest level but it is the IPL that brings the best out of him. He is one of the leading wicket takers in the IPL history and is a vital cog in the Punjab bowling line-up.
Ramesh Powar is also a very experienced spinner and can be very effective with his slow off-spinners. Powar can bowl with the new ball and has the abilty to beat batsmen in the air.
Players to watch out from Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh, David Hussey, Paul Valthaty
Squad: Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh, David Hussey, David Andrew Miller, James Peter Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Azhar Mahmood, Stuart Broad, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Abhishek Nayar, Paras Dogra, Mandeep Singh, Siddharth Chitnis, Nitin Saini, Sunny Singh, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Vikramjeet Malik, Amit Yadav, Paul Chandrashekar Valthaty, Shalabh Srivastava, Gurkeerat Rupinder Singh, Harmeet Singh Bansal, Parvinder Awana, Ramesh Rajaram Powar, Rajagopal Sathish.
By Indian Sports News