IPL 2020: King XI Punjab’s yet another overhaul in their hunt for glory
Personnel changes and team overhauls have been a constant for the Kings XI Punjab in their hunt for the ever-elusive IPL trophy. In KL Rahul, they now have their 12th captain and with a fresh coach in Anil Kumble, they will be hoping for a change in fortunes.
Just the opening combination of KL Rahul and ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle would be enough to send a chill down the opposition’s spine. In the last two seasons, the two have aggregated 1045 at an average of 43.54 in the 24 times they have opened together. They also have three century stands.
The biggest problem over the past few seasons for the Punjab based franchisee have been lack of experience in the middle order and no one to provide support to Mohammad Shami in the pace department. In Glenn Maxwell and Sheldon Cortrell, they will try to find their answers to both of those issues. With IPL’s move to UAE, they might be having some second thoughts about trading out Ravichandran Ashwin. In Mujeeb Ur Rahman, they still have a wicket-taking spin option.
Their think-tank would still face a problem of aplenty in filling up the four overseas slots. In Chris Gayle, Nicolas Pooran, Glen Maxwell, Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, they have 6 overseas options, none of whom can be easily benched. Do you not play Mujeeb to fill up the pace? Does Gayle make way for Nicolas Pooran? These are questions that the management would have a tough time with.
The one problem that would still be bugging them is the lack of an Indian all-round option. With Gayle, Maxwell, Mujeeb and Jordan filling up the overseas slots, the team would need the Indian middle-order batsmen to provide them with an additional bowling option. This would compel them to start with Pooran instead of Gayle, however, it seems highly unlikely that they will go that route.
Pooran might get the nod ahead of Maxwell for the start of the competition as the latter was a part of Australia’s squad in the recently concluded series against England.
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell/Nicolas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Mandeep Singh, Chris Jordan, K Gowtham, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bishnoi