IPL 2017 : Down and out Punjab seek to resurrect their IPL fortunes

The Kings XI Punjab have always been one of the underachievers in IPL. The team had hit the rock bottom when they kissed the bottom of the table on successive ocassions in 2015 and 2016.

In a bid to reinvent themselves, they have roped in some superstars at the auction that could well enhance their chances this season.

International superstars like Martin Guptill, Eoin Morgan, Darren Sammy have joined KXIP ranks this time around. This gives the much needed punch which they lacked last season and hence were struggling to compete.

Murali Vijay was ruled out of IPL and the franchise has called up Ishant as his replacement.

Strengths- Kings XI Punjab have got some serious power hitters in their side. Guptill, Miller, Maxwell, Sammy posses some serious threat to opposition with their brash hits. Also, they have got a sound pace attack.

Weakness – Barring Axar Patel,  there is no experienced Indian spinner in the side. There are a couple of part timers but you can”t always bank on them. This can hurt them on pitches which offer plenty to spinners.

X-Factor – The two “M”s – Maxwell and Miller.

Probable XI – Martin Guptill, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Glenn Maxwell (C), David Miller, Darren Sammy, Axar Patel, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, T Natarajan, K Cariappa

The Kings XI Punjab have got a problem of plenty when it comes to picking foreign players. However Maxwell and Miller are almost certain to play every match and they can do chopping and changing with remaining two slots. At the moment it looks like Guptill and Vohra form the best possible opening pair. The veterans of the team Saha, Maxwell, Miller, form a solid middle order.

In Darren Sammy, they have got one of the best finishers which they lacked last season. Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma were one of the very few positives from last season and are expected to retain their places. T Natarajan getting a go ahead of Ishant Sharma may be a surprise but given Natarajan”s domestic performances it could not be a bad move.

Squad: Glenn Maxwell (C), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhiman Saha, Nikhil Naik, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, KC Cariappa, Armaan Jaffer, Pardeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, Hashim Amla, Varun Aaron, Eoin Morgan, Matt Henry, Rahul Tewatia, Martin Guptill, Darren Sammy, Rinku Singh, T Natarajan, Ishant Sharma.

Team Schedule :-

April 8: vs. Rising Pune Supergiant (Home)

April 10: vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (Home)

April 13: vs. Kolkata Knight Riders (Away)

April 15: vs. Delhi Daredevils (Away)

April 17: vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (Away)

April 20: vs. Mumbai Indians (Home)

April 23: vs. Gujarat Lions (Away)

April 28: vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (Home)

April 30: vs. Delhi Daredevils (Home)

May 05: vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (Away)

May 07: vs. Gujarat Lions (Home)

May 09: vs. Kolkata Knight Riders (Home)

May 11: vs. Mumbai Indians (Away)

May 14: vs. Rising Pune Supergiant (Away)

– by Atharva Apte

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