IPL 2019 team guide: Kings XI Punjab

Indian Premier League
KL Rahul fans India Kings XI Punjab PA

Two playoff appearances in 11 attempts but an opening pair to strike fear into any opponents and a name that doesn’t seem to quite make sense. That’ll be Kings XI Punjab, then.

Coach: Mike Hesson
Captain: Ravichandran Ashwin
Previous Best: Runner-up (2014)
IPL history
2008: Semi-final
2009: 5th
2010: 8th
2011: 5th
2012: 6th
2013: 6th
2014: Runner-up
2015: 8th
2016: 8th
2017: 5th
2018: 7th


VIVO IPL TEAM GUIDES

Chennai Super Kings | Mumbai Indians | Royal Challengers Bangalore | Delhi Capitals Sunrisers Hyderabad Rajasthan Royals Kolkata Knight Riders


Why They’ll Win It:
If KL Rahul has a series that confirms a World Cup spot and Chris Gayle continues the form he showed for West Indies against England then Kings XI will have the best opening pair in the tournament. It’s a lovely left-hand, right-hand combo too.

Afghan spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman was great in the Big Bash and is a real eye-catching arrival here while AJ Tye was the tournament’s leading wicket-taker 12 months ago and should form a decent alliance with Mohammed Shami.

But last season’s meltdown shouldn’t entirely mask the promise of their early season form. They were not all that far away. If Gayle and Rahul can make big runs and someone – David Miller? Nic Pooran? Karun Nair? – offer the significant support so badly lacking in 2018 they really should be there or thereabouts for a playoff spot. Big if, though.

 

Why They Won’t:
Despite Tye’s efforts last year Kings XI faded badly to finish second bottom of the ladder having set the early pace with five wins in their first six.

Sam Curran’s stock has fallen since they splashed big money on a player with little by way of T20 credentials. Moises Henriques is a solid enough acquisition but still represents a downgrade on last season’s Aussie all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.

They are IPL ever-presents but have made it beyond the round-robin only twice in 11 attempts, which is crap.

 

Star Man – KL Rahul:
Only Kane Williamson and Rishabh Pant scored more runs in IPL 2018 than Rahul, and he will be under a spotlight again 12 months on with his returns here potentially of huge significance for both team and player with a World Cup spot on the line after a patchy year.

If Rahul struggles, Kings XI are pretty much screwed given their lack of Indian batting options.

Full squad: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle (WI), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, David Miller (SA), Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Nicholas Pooran (WI, wk), Agnivesh Ayachi, Varun Chakravarthy, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Moises Henriques (Aus), Sam Curran (Eng), Mujeeb-ur-Rahman (Afg), M Ashwin, R Ashwin, Ankit Rajpoot, Andrew Tye (Aus), Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen (SA), Mohammed Shami.

 

Fixtures:

Monday March 25
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Rajasthan Royals, Sawai Mansingh Stadium Jaipur

Wednesday March 27
2000 IST/1430 GMT: Kolkata Knight Riders, Eden Gardens Kolkata

Saturday March 30
1600 IST/1030 GMT: Mumbai Indians, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

Monday April 1
2000 IST/1530 BST:  Delhi Capitals, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

Saturday April 6
1600 IST/1130 BST: Chennai Super Kings, MA Chidambaram Stadium Chennai

Monday April 8
2000 IST/1530 BST: Sunrisers Hyderabad, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

Wednesday April 10
2000 IST/1530 BST: Mumbai Indians, Wankhede Stadium Mumbai

Saturday April 13
2000 IST/1530 BST: Royal Challengers Bangalore, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

Tuesday April 16
2000 IST/1530 BST: Rajasthan Royals, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

Saturday April 20
2000 IST/1530 BST: Delhi Capitals, Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi

Wednesday April 24
2000 IST/1530 BST: Royal Challengers Bangalore, M Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore

Monday April 29
2000 IST/1530 BST: Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium Hyderabad

Friday May 3
2000 IST/1530 BST: Kolkata Knight Riders, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

Sunday May 5
1600 IST/1130 BST: Chennai Super Kings, IS Bindra Stadium Mohali

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