IPL 2018: 4 reasons why the Kings XI Punjab are favourites to win the IPL
What makes KXIP favourites to win?
The Indian Premier League(IPL) had a wonderful first decade filled with thrill, excitement and emotions. The action moved to different countries and plenty of cities. Three out of the eight current franchises are yet to register their name on the IPL trophy. The Kings XI Punjab are accompanied by the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Daredevils in the unwanted list.
The Kings XI Punjab have managed to reach the playoffs only twice. They started their IPL campaign with a lot of promise in the first season as they reached the semi-finals and secured the third spot. Their best performance came under the leadership of George Bailey who led them to the finals in 2014. The side from the north went down to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the final.
The IPL will now enter into its second decade and the Kings XI Punjab fans would want their franchise to rewrite history. The team would look to start afresh as a new season approaches. The Kings XI setup looks balanced this time. According to their mentor Virender Sehwag, the franchise has the set of players which have the capability to win them the IPL trophy.
Here's the complete squad for the Punjab side for IPL 2018:
Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, David Miller, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Manoj Tiwary, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Zadran, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye, Akshdeep Nath, Ben Dwarshuis, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar, Manzoor Dar
On this note, let us take a look at five reasons why Kings XI Punjab might surprise other oppositions on this occasion.
#1 A new skipper
Any captain can only do his best for the team and for cricket. When you are winning, you are a hero. Lose, and the backslappers fade away: Richie Benaud
This famous quote by 'the voice of cricket' Richie Benaud defines Ravichandran Ashwin the best. The announcement of Ravichandran Ashwin as the captain of the Kings XI Punjab brought a feeling of dismay for the Punjab fans. In the presence of Yuvraj Singh, Aaron Finch and veteran T20 player Chris Gayle the fans could not see Ashwin as a captain.
Virender Sehwag later explained the reason for having a bowler as the captain. Sehwag believes that a bowler can understand the game better and it is important to understand the tactics in the shorter version of the game. Ashwin was named as the captain of the Tamil Nadu side when he was a 20-year-old. Other senior players were busy playing the ICL and he was handed the responsibility of the side in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The off-spinner led Tamil Nadu to a Vijay Hazare Trophy title. When he captained Tamil Nadu as an experienced player in 2015 his captaincy was proactive: he used different fields, rotated the attack, and kept chatting with the younger bowlers. This will be his first experience of captaining a side in the shorter version but the spin maestro is ready for the challenge. He will be raring to go and that is a boost for the Punjab side.