IPL 2014 saw the emergence of a transformed Punjab unit. One that took the IPL by storm and almost went the distance! George Bailey’s men would surely love to carry on their good work in this edition too and go one step further. Last year’s finalists, Kings XI Punjab are among the title contenders this year and here is a quick look at their chances.
Sehwag, Maxwell and Miller – T20’s ‘Dream Trio’
Much of Punjab’s stellar run last year could be credited to the match winning knocks played by either of these three batsmen, at some point or the other. Glenn Maxwell was among the top run-getters of the tournament. Virender Sehwag’s century in the Eliminator against Chennai Super Kings was key to Punjab’s entry into the finals.
David Miller had produced a number of quickfire cameos, late in the innings, to turn even contests in Punjab’s Favor. KXIP’s fortunes, this year too, shall hinge primarily on how these three perform.
Bailey, Marsh, Saha and Vijay to complement the big hitters
KXIP have the most ideal candidates to play the sheet anchor’s role in a T20 game – George Bailey, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhiman Saha and Murali Vijay. It is in this perfect mix of big hitters and innings anchors that Punjab can afford to celebrate its batting diversity. Skipper George Bailey and Shaun Marsh can play as floaters, and bat according to the needs of the situation. Murali Vijay is likely to partner Sehwag at the top.
Wriddhiman Saha’s heroic century in the final last year catapulted his hitherto uneventful career to an all new level. The Bengal wicket keeper shall have crucial responsibilities in the middle order this year.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Manan Vohra are the two promising youngsters who are bound to light up the stage very soon.
Mitchell Johnson, Axar Patel, Sandeep Sharma to lead the bowlers
Even though Mitchell Johnson’s name shines brightly in the bowling roster of Kings XI Punjab, most of the success enjoyed by the team in 2014 came because of the good work done by the lesser known names.
Sandeep Sharma’s controlled swing bowling and Axar Patel’s disciplined spin bowling toppled many an opposing team last year. Parvinder Awana has the pace to unsettle most batsmen, but he needs to be more disciplined to become a regular in the playing XI. Rishi Dhawan and Thisara Perera’s all around abilities are bound to come to good use on tracks available in India.
So in summary a very strong squad and do not go anywhere if the Kings XI team is batting !
Kings XI Punjab Squad for IPL 2015
Virender Sehwag, Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karanveer Singh, Manan Vora, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, George Bailey (c), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh and Thisara Perera