Probable KXIP Playing XI for IPL 2020
The Karnataka opener has been KXIP’s premier batsman over the last couple of seasons. He was bought for a whopping sum of INR 11 crore and he has repaid the faith imposed by the franchise. In the last two seasons, Rahul has scored 1252 runs at an average of 54.43 and a strike-rate of 146.60.
Apart from Rahul, Gayle is the only other player who has been consistent with the bat over the last couple of years. The big Jamaican opener was bought in the final round in the 2018 auctions at his base price. He’s amassed 858 runs at an average of 40.86 and has a strike-rate of 150.26 across 2018 and 2019. The Universe Boss is likely to open the batting with the newly-appointed skipper. However, if KXIP look to strengthen their bowling then they might bench Gayle and play Jordan.
2018 was a horrid year as far as the IPL is concerned for Mayank Agarwal. However, he hit back hard in the 12th edition. The Karnataka batsman batted at No. 3 for a large part and was pretty consistent. He made 332 runs and was striking at 141.88 last season. Agarwal will continue to bat at No. 3 next season as well.
After a year’s break, Glenn Maxwell is back in the IPL fold and is back with KXIP. For four seasons, he was a critical part of the side but was released ahead of the 2018 season. He played for Delhi for one season and now, has returned to the Punjab side. Maxwell comes into IPL in fine form having scored a match winning century against England.
Nicholas Pooran/ Chris Jordan
Nicholas Pooran scored 168 runs across six innings in the 2019 season. However, he did show flashes of what he is capable of. He can be very destructive in the middle order and can don the finisher’s hat. Pooran is another player who can make way for Jordan. If KXIP decide to play Gayle at the top.
Sarfaraz Khan: After 3 unfulfilled seasons with RCB Sarfraz was picked up by King XI Punjab last season to give him a new lease of life. The 21-year old repaid the faith shown by the Kings XI management to score 180 runs in 5 innings at an average of 45 solving Kings XI Punjab’s middle order woes to a certain extent. The middle order batsman scored more than 30 runs in 3 of his 5 innings. The Mumbai born youngster has all the shots to succeed in T20 cricket and hopefully it will be a breakthrough season for Sarfraz.
Deepak Hooda/Mandeep Singh/Karun Nair:
This position may be a tricky call. KXIP have quite a few options to choose from. Mandeep Singh was their preferred choice last season and he played 13 games. The Punjab right-hander made 165 runs in 12 innings but was not out on eight instances. He was striking at 137.50. Karun Nair and Deepak Hooda might give him some tough competition but Mandeep might just pip them to start in the XI.
Krishnappa Gowtham will play at the No 7 position as the Karnataka all-rounder can be handy with both bat and ball. However, the 32 year old struggled with both and ball in IPL 2019 managing just 1 wicket from 20 overs and 18 runs from 4 innings. KXIP will hope a change of environment gets the best out of him.
Mohammed Shami is the premier and the only capped Indian pacer in the KXIP squad. He will most likely lead the attack. He had a good season in 2019 where he picked up 19 wickets from 14 games. It was also the first time when Shami played all games in an IPL season.
Last season, Murugan Ashwin played 10 games for KXIP but with Ravichandran Ashwin and Mujeeb Ur Rahman leading the attack the lesser known Ashwin failed to make a substantial impact. Ashwin will hope to make an impact in spin friendly conditions.
Mujeeb Ur Rehman:
The mystery spinner from Afghanistan will be raring to make use of the spinner-friendly conditions in the UAE. With KXIP lacking quality spin options the 19-year-old will be expected to shoulder the burden of the Kings XI Punjab spin department. Mujeeb comes into the IPL in fine form having taken 16 wickets in CPL at an economy rate of just 5.29.