Can the Kings XI Punjab win the Indian Premier League in 2020?
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Kings XI Punjab – IPL History
The Kings XI Punjab was formed in 2008 and was led by Yuvraj Singh in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Kings XI Punjab had a wonderful IPL season and finished 2nd in the league. They lost to the runners-up of the tournament, the Chennai Super Kings, in the Semi-Finals of the tournament.
Mohali is the home venue for Kings XI Punjab. This season, they will play all their 7 home game matches at this stadium, also called “Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium”.
Shaun Marsh was the star of the show, as he scored over 600 runs in the tournament, at an average of 68.44. In the next 11 seasons of the IPL, the Kings XI Punjab have only managed to reach the Playoffs stage once – in the 2014 season. The Kings XI Punjab topped the league in 2014 and ended up losing in the IPL 2014 Final.
The Kings XI Punjab is one of the most inconsistent teams in the IPL, having never managed to win the tournament. Appointing a pragmatic player in Ravichandran Ashwin, as the captain of the side in 2018 did not help change their fortunes. They finished the IPL 2019 season in 6th position and sacked their captain ahead of the 2020 season of the IPL.
They’re now hoping that their coach, Anil Kumble, can inspire the team to new heights. They have not appointed a new captain yet, and an announcement on the same will be made after the 2020 IPL auction, which is set to take place on the 19th of December, 2019. While Chris Gayle is now on the wrong side of 40, can he lift the team on his broad shoulders, and power them to the throne? Let’s wait and watch.
Ever since appearing in the IPL 2014 Final, the Kings XI Punjab have performed poorly. They stood at 8th in 2015, and 2016. They finished the league in 5th, 7th, and 6th in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.
- The Kings XI Punjab qualified for the Semi-Finals of the 2008 season of the IPL, finishing the league in 2nd position. Shaun Marsh had a fabulous season, and he scored a truckload of runs, eventually ending the season as the tournament’s highest scorer and the proud owner of the Orange Cap. Unfortunately, the Kings XI Punjab could not carry their form beyond the League Stage, as they were thoroughly beaten by the Chennai Super Kings in the Semi-Finals. The Kings XI Punjab scored 112 runs, setting the Chennai Super Kings a target of 113. The Chennai Super Kings won the match in a paltry 14.5 overs, roaring into the 2008 IPL Final.
- The Kings XI Punjab had a magnificent season in 2014. They won their first five games and ended the League Stage at the top of the table. They faced off against the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2014 IPL Final and batted first. They set the Kolkata Knight Riders a steep target of 200 to win. The Kings XI Punjab were brilliantly led by Wriddhiman Saha in setting the Kolkata Knight Riders a stiff target, as he scored a wonderful knock of 115 runs. Unfortunately, the Kolkata Knight Riders had other plans, as they chased down the target with comfort. Manish Pandey led the way with a fluent 94 off 50 deliveries.
- The Kings XI Punjab appointed Ravichandran Ashwin as their captain in 2018. They finished the season in 7th position and performed poorly.
- The 2019 season of the IPL was no different for the Kings XI Punjab, as they finished the league in 6th position. This was despite bringing in 13 new faces in the IPL Auction that year.
- The Kings XI Punjab sacked Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of the 2020 season of the IPL, and traded him in for Jagadeesha Suchith, and received a sum of 1.5 Crore as well.
- The Kings XI Punjab appointed Anil Kumble as their Head Coach for the 2020 season of the IPL.
Chris Gayle is known as the ‘Universal Boss’, and the Kings XI Punjab will need him to fire all guns blazing if they are to win the tournament. He remains a key figure in the dressing room, and on the pitch. Despite his age, Gayle is a ferocious hitter of the ball, and on his day, can turn back the clock on the best of bowling attacks. He scored 490 runs in the 2019 season of the IPL, at a strike rate of 153.61. Gayle must score more in the 2020 season of the IPL.
KL Rahul is a wonderfully elegant player. Despite his obvious talent, he hasn’t performed to the level expected of him on the International stage. That being said, Rahul has been consistent in the IPL, and he was the team’s leading run-scorer in the 2019 edition of the IPL. He scored 593 runs, at a strike rate of 135.39. Rahul and Gayle must strike a partnership at the top of the order as frequently as possible, and both players must score a truckload of runs in the 2020 IPL season.
Mayank Agarwal has blossomed into a wonderful player, and he proving his weight in gold at the International stage. He scored a mountain of runs in the recently concluded test series against South Africa and has been called up to the Indian squad for the limited-overs series against the West Indies. Having scored 332 runs at a strike rate of 141.88 in the IPL 2019 season, his contribution to the team is worth mentioning. The Kings XI Punjab will be hoping that he scores many more runs in the 2020 season of the IPL.
Nicholas Pooran is a talented young player, but he did not fulfill his potential last season. He has been in and out of the National Team, and he must prove himself in the 2020 season of the IPL. He scored a measly 168 runs last season, and he must improve on that tally. There is no doubting his talent and hitting ability – he was to score more consistently.
Mohammed Shami has been playing exceedingly well at the International level. He has become more consistent and is bowling with great pace and nip. Shami had an excellent season in 2019 and picked up 19 wickets in 14 matches. If the Kings XI Punjab are to go all the way, Shami is an integral part of their plans. He must lead the bowling attack and hope that the Kings XI Punjab pick up a wonderful strike bowling partner, to open the innings with him.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman played just 5 matches last season and picked up 3 wickets. He must play more often, as he is a good player. He needs to bowl better lines in the 2020 season of the IPL, and he should have a much better season this year around.
Murugan Ashwin played 10 games last season and picked up 5 wickets. If the Kings XI Punjab are to perform better in the 2020 season of the IPL, he must improve his performance and pick up more wickets. Ashwin is a good bowler, and the new captain of the team must utilize his abilities well.
The Kings XI Punjab have retained 14 players ahead of the IPL 2020 Auction on the 19th of December, and have traded in their captain for Jagadeesha Suchith, plus an extra 1.5 crore. They have a purse of 42.70 Crore, and they must make wise moves in the auction. Ankit Rajpoot too has been traded in for Krishnappa Gowtham.
The Kings XI Punjab have retained KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande Mohammed Shami, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Arshdeep Singh.
They have released 7 players in David Miller, Moises Henriques, Agnivesh Ayachi Varun Chakravarthy. Andrew Tye, Sam Curran, and Prabhsimran Singh. The Kings XI Punjab have 9 slots to fill in the auction, and they must target Pat Cummins to spearhead their bowling attack. They must also look for a batting all-rounder and a solid middle-order batsman.
Everyone is eager to know the new caption and the new squad for The Kings X1 Punjab, taking place on the 19th December. The hope is that the new players combined with the existing ones will bring better performance for the team and end their doom spell.
Recent and Upcoming Matches
The Kings XI Punjab had a poor IPL 2019, finishing the league in 6th position. They had a good start to the season, winning 4 of their first 6 games, including a game against eventual winners, the Mumbai Indians. They only won 1 of their last 5 games, concluding yet another disappointing season for the Kings XI Punjab. They won their last game against the Chennai Super Kings. We are hoping that new faces and a new Head Coach can inspire them to greater heights.
Fans should look forward to matches contested between the Mumbai Indians, and the Chennai Super Kings, at the Holkar Stadium, Indore. Both teams remain strong and have retained their core squad. The Kings XI Punjab beat both teams last season, so look forward to more fun-filled action when these two teams come to play with the Kings XI Punjab on their home turf!
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande Mohammed Shami, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jagadeesha Suchith, and Arshdeep Singh