All was set for them to dominate the scene. But after five matches, they are lying on the bottom of the table with four defeats, one win and two points, courtesy a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. Here MyKhel is analysing what has gone wrong with them so far, and what needs to be done to get back on the road.
1. What went wrong for Kings XI Punjab
They have the raw materials that makes a good team but the Kings XI management has not been able to assemble them and transform into a strong XI. Imagine, someone like Mujeeb ur Rahman, a T20 bowler with pedigree and coming from an excellent CPL 2020, is still not being utilised. They are not even able to accommodate Chris Gayle into the XI, since Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have done well as openers. Since Gayle takes a few balls to settle in, they are not experimenting with him in the middle-order too. But rethink is inevitable.
The other issue they face is lack of death over bowlers. Think, someone like K Gowtham, an off-spinner, bowling to Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya in the 20th over. Even someone like R Ashwin, who has tremendous variety, does not come in the final over these days. Mohammed Shami is a brilliant new ball bowler but he can be wayward in the final overs as it has been the case many times in the past.
Chris Jordan was selected as a specialist death over bowler but he was benched after an expensive game against Delhi Capitals, and James Neesham played in the next three matches. But the Kiwi all-rounder failed with both bat and ball. It prompted the Kings XI to bring back Jordan for the game against Chennai Super Kings, and the result was an ordinary spell – 3-0-42-0.
Glenn Maxwell’s poor form too is hurting them. The hard-hitting Australian often comes down the order and make some heavy contributions. But in the IPL 2020, Maxwell has scored just 41 runs from 5 games at shade over 13 with a highest of 13.
2. Best Playing XI for Kings XI Punjab
Here is what we think is an ideal Playing XI for the Punjab outfit.
Openers: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle.
Middle-order: Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Darshan Nalkhande.
All-rounder: Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Bowlers: Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Ishan Porel.
3. Next match of Kings XI
Kings XI play Sunrisers Hyderabad on October 8. They now have a break of three days to have a revisit of their strategies.
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