Over the last 12 seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL), there have been only three teams from the original eight who haven’t won the IPL even once. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) reached the final in 2014, but couldn’t win it at that time. Delhi Daredevils, who are now known as the Delhi Capitals, have not only failed to win the IPL, but they have also not reached the finals.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have the two biggest superstars in world cricket, have reached the finals on three occasions but have never won the IPL.
KXIP reached the final when half of the IPL was played in the UAE, and this year the IPL will be played in the UAE again, so the omens might be good for them.
Let's look at three reasons why KXIP can win their first-ever IPL trophy.
3. Anil Kumble & KL Rahul will be in charge
Kings XI Punjab once again have changed their captain and coach before the start of a new season. Mike Hesson, who was their previous coach, has moved to RCB whereas Ravichandran Ashwin, who was their captain, has moved to DC.
Anil Kumble, who previously mentored RCB and MI in the IPL, will be the head coach for KXIP this year. KL Rahul, who has done a lot for India in the last 12 months, will lead the KXIP side in IPL 2020.
Anil Kumble, who is from Karnataka, will understand KL Rahul better than anybody else because they come from a similar background. There are quite a few players from Karnataka, and the likes of Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, and Krishnappa Gowtham will benefit from Kumble being the coach of the team.
Kumble is a guy who loves to take charge and he can guide a player like KL Rahul. If the IPL team owners give them freedom, then this duo has the ability to get the best out of this team.
2. Better middle-order batsmen
Last year, one of the problems which KXIP faced was their middle-order batting. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle gave them brilliant starts but the middle-order wasn’t able to take advantage of that. This year, they have got Glenn Maxwell and James Neesham to support the likes Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, and Nicholas Pooran.
Maxwell destroyed the bowling attacks in 2014 when the IPL was in the UAE. He scored 300 runs in 5 games at an average of 60 in the first half of the tournament. Maxwell loves the conditions in the UAE and he can be dangerous in the middle-order. The KXIP batsmen seem better placed to capitalize on good starts this year, which will lead to match-winning totals for the team.
1. Good mix of spinners and pacers
In 2019, KXIP focused more on spinners and as a result, lacked a bit of fire in the fast bowling department. There wasn’t anyone to support Mohammad Shami and even he was getting hit at the death. In this year’s auction, KXIP has tried to solve that problem by getting in experienced pacers like Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan.
Jordan is a death specialist who can bowl six yorkers in an over. Cottrell, being a left-armer, will always cause trouble to batsmen and he can swing the new ball as well.
In the spin department, KXIP have Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who is having a great time in the CPL. They have brought in Krishnappa Gowtham, who can bowl in any situation and they also have the young sensation Ravi Bishnoi, who picked up 17 wickets in 6 games in the U-19 World Cup.
This mix of pacers and spinners can help KXIP win their first-ever IPL title.