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IPL: KXIP's best all-time XI

Kings XI Punjab finished as the IPL runners-up in 2014
Kings XI Punjab finished as the IPL runners-up in 2014
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 28 Apr 2020, 18:00 IST
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Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have been one of the most underperforming teams in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Punjab-based team had their best finish in IPL 2014 when they ended as the runners-up.

KXIP have flattered to deceive over the last few years. More often than not, they have made a bright start to a season only to fade away later in the tournament. The instability in their batting line-up is a primary reason for their inconsistent performances.

Our attempt here is to come up with the best all-time KXIP XI, comprising players who have represented the franchise in the last 12 seasons of the IPL. The team has been formed keeping in mind the IPL's rule of having a maximum of four foreign players in a line-up.

Without further ado, let us have a look at the composition of this all-time best KXIP XI.


Openers

#1: Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle continued his love affair with the IPL while playing for KXIP
Chris Gayle continued his love affair with the IPL while playing for KXIP

Chris Gayle will feature at the top of the order in this all-time best KXIP XI. The Jamaican, who was picked almost as an after-thought by KXIP in the IPL 2018 auctions, did not let the team down.

Gayle, who was let go off by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), showed that he had not lost his mojo while playing for KXIP. The burly West Indian smashed 858 runs in his two seasons with KXIP, at a healthy average of 40.85 and an outstanding strike rate of 150.26.

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#2: KL Rahul

KL Rahul has been outstanding at the top of the order for KXIP.
KL Rahul has been outstanding at the top of the order for KXIP.

KL Rahul would accompany Gayle at the top of the order in this all-time Kings XI Punjab XI. The Karnataka opener has been in breathtaking form for KXIP in the last two seasons.

Rahul, who like Gayle joined KXIP from RCB in 2018, has aggregated 1252 runs for the Mohali-based team. These runs have come at an average of 54.43 and a strike rate of 146.60, which shows both his consistency and aggressive game-play.

The classy opening batsman has become KXIP's highest run-getter among Indian batsmen in just two years with the Punjab outfit.

Rahul, who holds the record for the fastest 50 in the history of the IPL, would also be performing the wicketkeeper's role in this all-time KXIP XI.

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Middle Order (3-6)

#3: Shaun Marsh

Shaun Marsh - The highest run-scorer for KXIP in the IPL
Shaun Marsh - The highest run-scorer for KXIP in the IPL

Shaun Marsh would play the sheet anchor's role in this all-time KXIP XI. The graceful Australian would be the perfect foil for the host of stroke players in the KXIP top-order.

Marsh is the highest run-scorer for KXIP in the history of the IPL. He has aggregated 2477 runs at an average of 39.95, and a strike rate of 132.74. The left-hander also has had the privilege of being the first winner of the Orange cap in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008.


#4: Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh had more telling performances with the ball than with the bat for KXIP.
Yuvraj Singh had more telling performances with the ball than with the bat for KXIP.

Yuvraj Singh would be the only Indian batsman in the KXIP middle-order. The aggressive southpaw did not have a particularly good outing for KXIP, especially with the bat, but would still be the best choice among Indian middle-order batsmen.

Singh scored 959 runs for KXIP at a below-par average of 22.30 and a strike rate of 127.86. But he had his best moments for KXIP with the ball. Although he only took 14 wickets for the Punjab outfit, it includes two hat-tricks in IPL 2009.

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The dashing middle-order batsman would provide a good back-up spin bowling option in this KXIP all-time XI.


#5: Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell has been a mixed bag for KXIP.
Glenn Maxwell has been a mixed bag for KXIP.

Glenn Maxwell would be the X-factor in this KXIP XI. The maverick Australian could be used as a floater in the batting order depending on the demands of the situation.

Maxwell has had mixed returns in the IPL while playing for KXIP. While he has shown glimpses of his potential with some breathtaking innings, he has proved to be a let-down on a few occasions. Overall, Maxwell has scored 1186 runs for KXIP at an average of 25.78. But the biggest plus point has been his strike rate of 167.27, the highest amongst all KXIP batsmen.

Maxwell, who has taken 10 wickets in the IPL for KXIP, would also play the part-time spin bowler's role along with Yuvraj Singh.

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#6: David Miller

David Miller is the most capped foreign player for KXIP.
David Miller is the most capped foreign player for KXIP.

David Miller would take the final middle-order spot in the all-time KXIP batting line-up. The South African was one of the most consistent performers for KXIP in his first few seasons. But his performance graph seems to have tapered off in the last couple of years.

After Marsh, Miller is the highest run-scorer for KXIP. The left-hander has aggregated 1850 runs at an average of 34.25 and a strike rate of 138.78.

Miller would be expected to play the finisher's role in this line-up.


All-Rounder

#7: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan (centre) has been the most successful all-rounder for KXIP.
Irfan Pathan (centre) has been the most successful all-rounder for KXIP.

Irfan Pathan would be the only all-rounder in this all-time KXIP XI. The Baroda left-arm swing bowler is the fourth-highest wicket-taker for KXIP.

Pathan picked up 47 wickets for KXIP at an average of 24.80 and an acceptable economy rate of 7.79. He gave a decent account of himself with the bat as well, aggregating 603 runs at an average of 25.12 and a strike rate of 131.08.

Sam Curran could be the other all-rounder option for KXIP. But that would impact the balance and composition of the side as only four foreigners allowed in the playing XI.

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Bowlers (8-11)

#8: Piyush Chawla

Piyush Chawla is the highest wicket-taker for KXIP in the IPL.
Piyush Chawla is the highest wicket-taker for KXIP in the IPL.

Piyush Chawla would play the attacking leg-spinner's role in this all-time KXIP line-up. The Uttar Pradesh spin bowler is the most capped player for KXIP and also their highest-taker.

Chawla has accounted for 84 wickets for KXIP in the IPL, doing so at an average of 26.63 and an economy rate of 7.52. He can also be a handy lower-order batsman who can score some quick runs.


#9: Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin was KXIP
Ravichandran Ashwin was KXIP's captain in the last two seasons.

Ravichandran Ashwin would be the other spin bowler in this all-time XI for Kings XI Punjab. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner, who captained the Punjab outfit in the last two seasons, would also lead this hypothetical XI.

Ashwin picked up 25 wickets for KXIP, at an average of 32.40 and an economy rate of 7.66. Although these are not flattering numbers, he would be a part of this all-time XI for his experience and leadership qualities.

Axar Patel and Mujeeb ur Rahman could be the other spin-bowling options. But the lack of any other worthwhile captaincy options and unavailability of foreign slots in the XI tilts the balance in Ashwin's favour.

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#10: Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami had an outstanding IPL 2019 for KXIP.
Mohammed Shami had an outstanding IPL 2019 for KXIP.

Mohammed Shami would spearhead the all-time KXIP pace attack. The Bengal pace bowler showcased his credentials in IPL 2019, the only season he played for the franchise.

Shami accounted for 19 scalps in IPL 2019, doing so at an average of 24.68. Although his economy of 8.68 was marginally on the higher side, he more than made up for it with his wicket-taking prowess.


#11: Sandeep Sharma

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Sandeep Sharma has been the most consistent seam bowler for KXIP.
Sandeep Sharma has been the most consistent seam bowler for KXIP.

Sandeep Sharma would take the final seam bowler's slot in this line-up. The Punjab medium-pacer, who generates prodigious swing with the new ball, has proved to be an asset with his ability to pick up wickets in the power-play.

Sharma is the second highest wicket-taker for KXIP, behind only Piyush Chawla. He has snared 71 wickets for the franchise at an average of 22.35 and an economy rate of 7.77.

Published 28 Apr 2020, 18:00 IST
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