Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have managed to put up a balanced squad for the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL). Considering that, they should be one of the favourites to reach the play-offs in this years edition.
Although the Punjab team does not have a great record in the IPL, they would be hoping to turn it around this time. For the record, their best performance was in 2014 when they managed to reach the final but lost in a close match against Kolkata Knight Riders. In the 2019 IPL, they missed the play-off spot and eventually finished 6th.
Having let go of Ravichandran Ashwin before the IPL auction, they have gone in with a fresh approach with the young KL Rahul as captain and the wily Anil Kumble at the helm as Director of Cricket. They did a decent job at the auction table and ensured that the squad had all bases covered with enough backup options.
KXIP Squad for IPL 2020: KL Rahul (C), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Prabhsimran Singh, Deepak Hooda, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Nicholas Pooran, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Tajinder Singh Dhillon
Following is the best probable playing XI which should give them a balanced look.
#1 Openers (KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal)
This seems to be a no-brainer with the T20 credentials of KL Rahul and the kind of form and consistency Mayank Agarwal has been showing off-late. Rahul has been in exemplary form for India in the white ball format, both in the T20Is and ODIs. Having captained India to victory in the final T20 against New Zealand and bagging the Man of the Series award in the same series would have given him immense confidence.
Also see – Indian Premier League 2020 schedule
Mayank showcased his potential at the international level last year and even got the best International Debut Award at the BCCI awards this year. Although that was more for his performances at the test level, he is an accomplished player in the T20 format also as suggested by his strike rate of 132.13 across all T20s. Although Gayle is an option here, but his inconsistency and lack of match practice would work against it.