IPL 2020, Team Profile, Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul, Anil Kumble Look To Clinch Maiden Title For KXIP
Kings XI Punjab would be hoping that the new captain-coach duo of KL Rahul and Anil Kumble can help them end their 12-year wait to get their hands on the IPL trophy.
KXIP are in search of their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title
Punjab have revamped their management completely for
KL Rahul will be leading a franchise for the first time in his career
Kings XI Punjab, in search of their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title, have revamped their management completely for the upcoming edition of the Twenty20 league. The Punjab-based franchise have roped in former India captain Anil Kumble as their head coach while KL Rahul has been picked to lead the star-studded squad. Despite having a strong side on papers in the past 12 seasons, Punjab are yet to get their hands on the IPL trophy. Their best performance came in 2014 when the team reached the finals but they failed to get to over the line against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Punjab will be happy with the form of their young West Indies recruit Nicholas Pooran. The 24-year-old recently smashed a 45-ball century in the Caribbean Premier League and will be hoping to carry forward his form in the IPL when the tournament gets underway in the United Arab Emirates.
Chris Gayle, Jimmy Neesham and Glenn Maxwell are the other big names that make KXIP one of the top contenders to lift the trophy this season.
Mohammed Shami and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will lead the bowling department that also boasts of the likes of Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan.
KL Rahul will be leading a franchise for the first time in his career. The wicketkeeper-batsman has scored 659 and 593 runs in the last two seasons for Kings XI Punjab. KL Rahul would be looking to lead from the front in his first season as captain.
Highest: 100 not out
Strike rate: 138.15
The West Indies superstar is always a threat for any opposition. Gayle has formed a formidable partnership at the top with KL Rahul. The big-hitter from Jamaica is 40 years old and this could be the last time fans might see the Universe Boss in IPL.
Highest: 175 not out
Strike rate: 151.02
The Australian all-rounder can be a game changer in any side he plays for. 'Big Show' Maxwell has the ability to go big from first ball and can find gaps on the field with ease. The all-rounder missed last year's IPL and was roped in by KXIP for a whopping Rs 10.75 crore for the 13th edition of the IPL. Maxwell will add fire power to the middle-order and can be the x-factor for the franchise this season.
Strike rate: 161.13
Nicholas Pooran was roped in by the KXIP last year for over Rs 4 crore and the West Indies batsman proved his worth in his first stint with the franchise by playing some crucial knocks. Pooran has been in explosive form in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League and if he manages to carry his form, opposition bowlers will find it hard to stop him.
Strike rate: 157.00
Mohammed Shami was consistent with the ball for the Kings XI Punjab in the last season, picking up 19 wickets. After a good showing in New Zealand earlier this year, Shami will lead the Punjab bowling attack this season.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
The Afghanistan spinner has the ability to deceive the batsmen in the air and with wickets expected to assist spinners in the UAE, Mujeeb Ur Rahman could key for KL Rahul and Punjab going in the tournament against strong batting line-ups like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
Other members of the squad: Mandeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Tajinder Singh, Chris Jordan, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Sarfaraz Khan, Mayank Agarwal, Darshan Nalkande, Murugan Ashwin, Jagadeesha Suchith, Krishnappa Gowtham, Hardus Viljoen, Simran Singh.
Note: All stats courtesy iplt20.com.