IPL 2019: Kings XI Punjab's strongest playing XI
Kings XI Punjab had a great start to the eleventh season of IPL as they won five of their first six matches. However, Punjab had to face a drastic turnaround as they failed to make it to the playoffs despite being in a strong position for the first half of the league. Kings XI eventually finished at seventh position in IPL 2018.
Following their dismal performance at IPL 2018, Kings XI Punjab decided to release plenty of players. The Punjab-based franchise released as many as 11 players ahead of the 2019 IPL Auction.
With 15 vacant spots in their squad (11 Indians and 4 Overseas), Kings XI Punjab bought 13 players - 4 overseas and 9 Indians.
KXIP's Final Squad: Ravichandran Ashwin (C), KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Moises Henriques, Nicholas Pooran, Mohammed Shammi, Sarfaraz Khan, Varun Chakaravarthy, Sam Curran, Hardus Viljoen, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, and Murugan Ashwin.
Thus, with a strong squad at their disposal, let us look at Kings XI Punjab's strongest XI that they could feature in IPL 2019.
Openers: Nicolas Pooran (WK) and KL Rahul
Nicolas Pooran has been in great form at the moment and is expected to open the batting for KXIP. With excellent power-hitting abilities, Pooran would be a definite addition to their playing XI. Besides, Pooran will also be donning the wicket-keeping gloves in IPL 2019 as it would free Rahul of the wicket-keeping duties. Hence, it would be quite unusual to keep such talent out of the playing XI at first go.
Rahul will open the batting with Pooran. Rahul played 14 matches for the franchise and amassed 659 runs at an excellent average of 54.91 and an overpowering strike-rate of 158.41. Thus, with extraordinary numbers at his disposal, Rahul would be an indisputable choice to open the innings in IPL 2019.