IPL 2020: 3 things Kings XI Punjab must do to have a shot at winning the trophy
- Having failed to make it to IPL playoffs in the last five years, here's a look at factors that could determine KXIP’s journey this time
Despite the presence of superstar players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Adam Gilchrist, and Kumar Sangakkara in their team over the years, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have failed to win the IPL even once. In fact, barring a couple of seasons, their performance has been thoroughly disappointing.
KXIP began their IPL journey by making it to the semi-final in the 2008 edition. Their best performance was the runners-up effort in 2014. If you look at their results in the other years, they were 5th in 2009, 2011 and 2017, 6th in 2012, 2013 and 2019, 7th in 2018, and last in 2010, 2015 and 2016.
As their history shows, KXIP have failed to make it to the play-offs even once in the last five years. They will thus have to show serious improvement this year. The franchise has made a few changes in their squad for 2020. Here’s a look at some factors that could determine KXIP’s journey this year.
#1 Glenn Maxwell needs to set tournament on fire
Out of the game with an elbow injury currently, Glenn Maxwell is likely to miss at least a week or more of the initial stages of the tournament. However, even that being the case, he can have a huge impact on the team's fortunes.
The last and only time KXIP made it to the IPL final, Maxwell had a sensational year. In the 2014 edition, the 'Big Show' amassed 552 runs in 16 games with four fifties at a stunning strike rate of 187.75 and an average of 34.50. He was the man of the tournament even as KXIP stumbled in the final.
Also see – IPL 2020 schedule
If KXIP want to make a serious impact this year, Maxwell will again have to be at his dangerous best once he is available for selection. After being picked at the auction for INR 10.75 crore, the Aussie batsman announced his return from a mental health break with some sizzling knocks in the Big Bash League (BBL).
Leading Melbourne Stars, Maxwell smashed 83 from 39 balls as the Stars kicked off their BBL campaign with a 22-run victory over Brisbane Heat. With Maxwell at the helm, the Stars were the favourites to clinch the BBL this year, but stumbled in the final. Maxwell's form tapered off as the tournament progressed. Still, he finished with 398 runs in 17 games at an average of 39.80 and a strike rate of 148.50 with three fifties.
Having spent lavishly on Maxwell, knowing very well that he can be a match-winner with the bat, KXIP will have high hopes from the Aussie. A repeat of the 2014 performance would work well for the franchise.
#Note: All statistics as of February 26, 2020