The Kings XI Punjab went into the Auction with over 35 Crore in their purse and the Mohali based franchise spent a lot of money to rebuild their squad.
Coach Mike Hesson seems to have revamped Kings XI Punjab so let’s have a look at their strengths, weaknesses and their possible lineup for IPL 2019.
Chak de Phatte!🙌
With new additions, #SaddaSquad just got more special!
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) December 19, 2018
So here’s a look at the complete squad of Kings XI Punjab, players with a * were bought in this auction
Full Squad: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, David Miller, Ravichandran Ashwin, Moises Henriques*, Nicholas Pooran*, Varun Chakaravarthy*, Sam Curran*, Mohammad Shami*, Sarfaraz Khan*, Hardus Viljoen*, Arshdeep Singh*, Darshan Nalkande*, Prabhsimran Singh*, Agnivesh Ayachi*, Harpreet Brar*, Mandeep Singh*(Traded), and Murugan Ashwin*
Bowling, especially the Spin attack– The Kings XI boast of probably the best spin attack in the league. Ever since going into the 2017 IPL with an inexperienced spin attack with Axar Patel being the only notable name, the Kings seemed to have done their homework and have realized that most IPL Champions always seemed to have a very good spin attack. Now they have invested heavily in spinners with Murugan Ashwin and 8.4 Crore spin prodigy Varun Chakravarthy joining an already potent spin duo of Captain Ravichandran Ashwin and Afghan Teenager Mujeeb Ur Rehman. It’s not only the spinners that raked in the moolah, but Kings XI also invested heavily in Mohamad Shami as well, paying 4.8 Crore for him. Shami will prove an able partner to Andrew Tye and England international Sam Curran who is touted to lead the attack.
All-rounders galore- Of the 13 Players Punjab picked up in the auction 6 are all-rounders though a lot of them are untested domestic Indian talent, the franchise have acquired two world-class all-rounders in Sam Curran and Moises Henriques. Curran is more likely to make the XI having cost the Kings 7.2 Crore but having able All-rounders is always essential in the T20 Format and Mike Hesson and Co seemed to have cracked the code.
Indian Batting core- One battle that the Kings XI seemed to have won during the retention was the fact that their batting core comprises of quality Indian batsman. The Karnataka trio of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Karun Nair were retained while Mandeep Singh ‘Returned’ home after being traded from RCB, throw in someone as talented as Prabhsimran Singh and the batting seems pretty dangerous. Which means that unlike the past, Punjab’s batting won’t be dependent on Foreign batsman who’s knowledge of the conditions is very limited.
Adjustment- Kings XI Punjab barely put a foot wrong in the auction and seemed to cover all basis but after getting 13 new players into the squad and a new Coach in New Zeland’s Mike Hesson the group will naturally take some time to adjust. The onus will be on Mike Hesson who is generally a very calm and collected coach to bring all these different personalities and talent together under one roof in hopes to get the best out of them.
Overboard with the overseas?- Along with Mike Hesson, the Franchise has appointed Ryan Harris as bowling Coach and Craig McMillan as Fielding Coach. Sridharan Sriram and Prasanna Raman are the only Indian Coaches in the side and guidance for the Young Indian players could turn out to be an issue. Unlike most Franchises, Punjab doesn’t have too many Indian coaches in Leading Roles or have an Indian experienced International as a Mentor. Will they miss having Sehwag? Only time will tell.
Middle order woes- KXIP doesn’t have a solid finisher to close the innings. Yes, David Miller has done it in the past but the South African’s form over the last few years has been questionable and Mandeep Singh has been impressive with RCB but has blown hot and cold as well. Sam Curran has looked impressive in the lower middle order for England but the Youngster’s lack of games in Indian conditions may pose as a threat.
Probable Playing XI: Kl Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakravarty, Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb Rahman.