In a major blow to Kings XI Punjab, it has been learnt that KL Rahul is unfit and is doubtful to play the first game of IPL for the franchise.
As per the reports, he is unfit and might not play the first game of the tournament.
The franchise purchased him for a huge amount of Rs 11 Crore.
It comes as big blow for the team, as already, Kings XI Punjab are without the services of Aaron Finch for a couple of games.
KXIP though have replacements for Rahul at the start in the form of Mayank Agarwal and Karun, but his presence would have been great for the team.
If he does not play the first game, Chris Gayle might open the innings with either of Agarwal or Nair.
It will be an opportunity for Gayle to do well in the opportunities provided to keep his place in the playing XI. Rahul and Finch will acquire their opening slot as soon as they are back.
However, if Gayle does well, Finch will be accommodated in the middle-order, as indicated by Sehwag earlier.
Rahul’s absence will also mean that Akshdeep Nath will be there in the playing XI since KXIP do not have any wicketkeeper other than him and Rahul.
Axar Patel, David Miller, Yuvraj Singh, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis are a few of the players who are a likely starter in playing XI from the first game of the season.
Kings XI Punjab faces Delhi Daredevils in their opening encounter in a home game on April 8. Earlier, the game was to be played at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, but the schedule got tweaked.
As per the new schedule, Kings XI Punjab play their Mohali leg first followed by Indore leg.
Kings XI Punjab squad: Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Karun Nair, Mujeeb Zadran, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, David Miller, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Singh Sran, Yuvraj Singh, Christopher Gayle, Ben Dwarshuis, Akshdeep Nath, Manoj Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Manzoor Dar, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar.
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