Kings XI Punjab’s (KXIP) IPL campaign will start with taking on Gautam Gambhir’s Delhi Daredevils (DD) on Sunday (8th April) at the PCA stadium in Mohali.
Let’s look at the KXIP Probable XI against DD as Ashwin tries to start his IPL captaincy career on a high
1) Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle is known as the best T20 opener as he is the only one to score more than 10,000 runs in the shortest format of the game.
He also holds the record of most sixes in the IPL tournament and no other player is even close to him. With Aaron Finch yet to arrive in India because of his wedding, Chris Gayle could be used as an opener for the initial few games.
2) Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal, the hero of this year’s Indian domestic season should partner Gayle to open the inning .
In 2017/18 Indian domestic season, Mayank scored 1160 runs in Ranji Trophy, 723 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and over 250 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament at a strike rate of 144.94. He deserves to partner Gayle and provide KXIP with that left-right opening combination.
3) KL Rahul
KL Rahul is the most favorable one to bat at no. 3 position. He is one of those few cricketers to have hit a century in every format of the game. He understands the game pretty well and bats according to it. He focuses on timing the ball and can play the sheet anchor’s role for KXIP.
4) Karun Nair
Karun Nair is only the second Indian cricketer to score a triple century in Test cricket.
He was in great form as he scored 379 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy in nine matches at an astonishing strike rate of 173.85.
5) Yuvraj Singh
Punjab’s king is back to his home base franchise, KXIP. He is known as one of the best T20 batsmen and has achieved great heights in his career.
He will be a key player for KXIP as he can win matches both with bat and bowl. In the practice game he scored 125 and looks on song to the set the stage on fire in IPL 2018
6) David Miller
David Miller remains one of the most fearsome batsmen of the shortest format of the game. He has played some great innings over the years for KXIP.
Though he has been a bit off form, the franchise will depend on him to finish off the matches.
7) Marcus Stoinis
The Australian Cricketer could the potential X-factor for KXIP in IPL 2018.
Last season, Stoinis made an impact by scoring 146 runs in five innings at 135.18 while picking eight wickets during the time. Despite his performance, KXIP ended up at the bottom of the table. This time KXIP must be aiming at using the cricketer in a better way.
8) Ravi Ashwin (Captain)
It would be interesting to see Ashwin as captain and how he goes through with his decision making.
He has been one of the best spinners of the country and has done well for his former franchise CSK. Ash
9) Axar Patel
Axar Patel was the only player who was retained by the franchise. He will accompany the captain in the spin bowling department. Axar has taken 58 wickets in 59 matches at an average of 26.67 and expected to play a key role for his team this season.
10) Mohit Sharma
Mohit Sharma is expected to step up and lead the pace bowling department for his team. KXIP lacks the pace bowling depth so the franchise would be dependent on Mohit a lot. He has got a lot of experience over the years and has done well in the IPL. Mohit picked 13 wickets in 14 games last season.
11) Andrew Tye
Andrew Tye would be an invaluable asset for KXIP as the side lacks pace depth. He bowls at good line and length and does regular variations. The 31-old has been the match-winner in many matches for his national team. The franchise is expecting him to do same with KXIP in IPL.