>> Ganesh Puranik | Mumbai
Despite having a good team in every season of IPL, Kings XI Punjab lost the title. This year, Punjab has spent a huge amount in the auction to strengthen the middle order. Punjab have six-wicket haul with Chris Gayle and skipper K.L. Rahul is a strong opening pair. As the bowling is also strong, Punjab will be on the field for the first title.
The Punjab team starts the IPL in a hurry, but in the last phase, the team’s performance is about. Last year too, Punjab put up a strong performance in the first seven matches, but had to settle for sixth place due to a drop in performance in the final. Also, in the last 5 years, Punjab has not been able to get a place in the top 5 team. Punjab was runner-up in 2014, but Punjab has not reached the play-offs since then.
The Punjab team has a good balance of international and local players this year. K. L. Rahul, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholson Puran, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Jordan, Jimmy Neesham are the T20 specialist players, while Mujib Ur Rehman, Ishant Porel, Ravi Bishnoi and Mohammad Shami are the bowlers. There is a board.
Punjab does not have a good bowler who can bowl in death overs. R. With Ashwin joining the Delhi team, the burden of the spin has fallen on Mujib alone. He will be accompanied by under-19 player Ravi Vishnoi, but only time will tell how much his dal will cook in front of experienced players.
Kl Rahul (Karnadhar), Khris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Puran, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Mujib Jadaran, Sheldon Cottrell, Hardas Viljoan, Darshan Nalakande, Harpreet Brar, Arshadip Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, K Gautam, J Suchit, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhasimran Singh and Murugan Ashwin.