In the last one-decade Kings XI Punjab had a rather forgettable campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL). An erratic team combination failed to deliver the fruit. Their only achievement was qualifying for the final of 2014 IPL. However, they were succumbed to defeat to the eventual champions Kolkata Knight Riders. But, this time around Preity Zinta owned franchise has signed deals with some of the big names in T20 cricket. Fans are expecting that the new look KXIP side will be able to deliver the success for the Punjab side. But, they have to keep in mind that most of their batsmen are on the wrong side of 30 and have already passed their peak. It will be interesting to watch how this side performs with veteran players. Alongside veteran players, youngsters will like to open the lid to make this IPL to their name. Must read: IPL 2018: KKR bowling attack- wonder boys or over-rated?
Kings XI Punjab’s youngsters
The Punjab franchise is blended with youngsters and veteran batsmen. They have talented boys like KL Rahul, who have already proved himself as a solid hitter of the white ball in the shortest format of the game. However, I have doubt about Karun Nair. He rose like a spark during the Chennai Test against England becoming the second Indian cricketer to score a triple century. However, after that magnificent innings, he slumped to low. In the last season, he failed to prove himself as a T20 batsman while playing for Delhi Daredevils. There is no doubt regarding his talent, but T20 is all about hitting boundaries and keeping the strike-rate rotating. If Nair wants to come out of the talent mould he has to deliver. On the other hand, KXIP will enjoy the service of Manoj Tiwari and David Miller. They have the calibre to score some quick runs. Must read: IPL 2018: 5 reasons why Rajasthan Royals are a strong contender for title
KXIP have two good all-rounders in their rank. The pace bowling all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was a good buy while they have used RTM card for Axar Patel. These two cricketers will come handy for both bowling and batting department. Stoinis has the calibre to play quickfire innings so does Patel. They will strengthen the KXIP middle order. Must read: Five batting legends who could have been destructive T20 batsmen
However, alongside these youngsters, KXIP have veteran players like Yuvraj Singh, the home hero, Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch. This trio was superb inclusion for KXIP. Opener Finch is known for his swashbuckling shot. He is known for quick fire innings and has the ability to destroy the opposition bowlers.
But, cricket fans will eagerly wait to watch how Yuvraj Singh (36) and Chris Gayle (38) perform in this IPL. During the IPL auction in Bangalore surprising everyone Gayle was left unsold on the first day of the auction. Before the auction, Gayle was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, where the West Indies batting star spent the best phase of his career. But, nobody expected that the hard-hitting West Indian would have gone unsold. In the second day, KXIP bought Gayle for INR 2 crore. Though, IPL franchises have a doubt over Gayle’s ability to deliver fruit many cricket pundits said if anybody dares to write off Gayle they will make a serious mistake. Must read: IPL 2018: Batsmen who have chance to win the Orange Cap
Hence, it will be interesting to watch how Gayle perform in IPL 2018. On the other hand, discarded Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh has played a few good innings in 2017 for India. His fans will love to see him in the destructive avatar. But, doubt will hover over KXIP team management until they play some jaw-dropping innings.