IPL 2020: 3 overseas players who can be match-winners for Kings XI Punjab
- The franchise revamped after another disappointing season in 2019 and will bank on these 3 overseas players
- Glenn Maxwell features on the list, along with a Kiwi and a young Afghan.
One of the eternal underdogs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has to be the Mohali-based franchise - Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). The Preity Zinta-Mohit Burman co-owned franchise has been on the cusp of glory once in 2014, but remains one of the only two original teams to have never lifted the trophy.
That's not to say that the team has not given the IPL some of its biggest stars. Home favourites like Yuvraj Singh and Mandeep Singh, and international stars like Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, and David Miller have all had their breakthrough years with the franchise.
With a whole new look to the side in 2020, there is a probability of the same happening again. With that in mind, here are the three overseas players who are capable of shining on the big stage for KXIP.
#3 James Neesham
The Mohali-based franchise has in the past few years lacked quality all-round players to bank on when their bigger names were not playing their best cricket. That's where the Kiwi James Neesham can come in handy for them in 2020.
A hush-hush buy in the auction, Neesham could very well be a regular feature in the side. An explosive batsman down the order and a capable bowler, he will be an asset for Punjab. Neesham has played solid cricket in international leagues throughout his career. KXIP has got a very good bargain in him, and he is expected to fetch them handsome returns.
#2 Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mujeeb Ur Rahman had a remarkable debut season in IPL 2018 - one that made people notice his talent. As a 17-year-old, he was winning hearts of the fans with his knack of taking wickets at crucial junctures. Unfortunately KXIP could not make it to the playoffs that season.
He was a great addition to the side and combined well with the then-captain R Ashwin to make a lethal spin combo. However the wickets dried up next season, going down to just 3 in 5 games compared to 14 from 11 games in 2018. Rahman also began to leak runs. That said, the Afghan is still very young and every match he plays will get him the experience needed to impress on the big stage.
#1 Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell was extremely influential in KXIP's run to finals way back in 2014. The powerful Aussie batsman was in unbelievable form during the first leg of the season in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but couldn't quite manage to sustain his momentum on the Indian pitches, when the league returned for the second leg.
While the Melbourne Stars skipper managed to play for KXIP for a few more seasons on the back of his reputation and that stellar season, he was eventually dropped. This will only give him extra motivation to do well in 2020, as the management has reposed their faith in himonce more. His career strike rate of 161 in the tournament bodes well for him. He looked in great touch in the Big Bash League and a season similar to 2014 from Maxwell could very well propel KXIP to playoffs again in 2020.Published 24 Mar 2020, 22:05 IST