The Indian summer is hectic for cricketers and cricket fans as the World T20 got over IPL is all set to replace the mega tournament. India have lost the semifinal, but with the gala opening ceremony people, cricket fans will forget the pain. After a year, it will be difficult to remember who have won the WT2 final at the Eden Gardens. The 21st-century cricket is full of busy schedule it never allows a cricket fan to cherish the feelings of a tournament as another tournament get over on their heart.
The memory of IPL is also intangible. It is very difficult to remember when the last time Kings XI Punjab played well in cash rich franchise T20 league IPL. As the world T20 end, only five days this year IPL seems more like responsibility and burden than a spontaneous tournament.
Punjab last year finished at the bottom but they finished in 2014 as the finalist of the tournament. Now this year they will start their campaign on April 11 against IPL’s new franchise Gujarat Lions at Punjab Cricket Association Ground.
Punjab under the captaincy of George Bailey finished at the bottom as their team. The bowling side was weak and batting failed to fire at the right time. This year they will try to repeat their 2014 performance.
Their team even fail to build their own identity as they are still known as Bollywood actress “Preity Zinta’s team”. They have to remove this tag with a swashbuckling performance.
Strenght: Punjab are over dependent on new captain David Miller and GlennMaxwell. Their foreign contingent is good, but only four players will be able to play. Saun Marsh will play as an opener while either Mitchell Johnson or Kyle Abbott will play as a bowler and will fulfill the fourth player quota. Spinners like Farhan Behardien will also make an impact in this IPL.
Weakness: But, Kings XI Punjab’s Indian contingent is not that powerful to make a strong impact in this IPL. Murali Vijay, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel are a bowler. Only Wriddhiman Saha and Murali Vijay are the genuine batsmen so they will not be able to make a cut in this World T20 too.
Players to watch out for:
David Miller: The South African middle order batsman will be the backbone of Kings XI Punjab side. He loves to play brisk innings. His bat will help Punjab to score a daunting total. But, captaincy will have to see.
KC Cariappa: The mystery spinner who made his IPL debut for Kolkata Knight Riders bought by Punjab. He can make a strong impact for his franchise. The 21-year-old leg break bowler has a potential to flourish.
Wriddhiman Saha: The Indian Test wicketkeeper is the opener of Punjab. He has played outstanding cricket in 2014. He scored a hundred in 2014 IPL final at Chinswammy Stadium, Bangalore. But, last year he could not make a good impact. So this year he will have a big big role to play.
Likely XI: Wriddihiman Shara, Shaun Marsh, David Miller, Murali Vijay, Glenn Maxwell, Swapnil Singh, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, KC Cariappa,Mitchell Johnson, Sandeep Sharma
Likely position: If something magical doesn’t happen then Kings XI Punjab will end at the sixth position.
Coach: Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag who played for Punjab last year.
David Miller (capt), Kyle Abbott, Anureet Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Farhaan Behardien, KC Cariappa, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Nikhil Naik, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Pradeep Sahu, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Shardul Thakur, M Vijay, Manan Vohra