The Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) is a chartered cricket team of Punjab, that plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Since the 2010 IPL, they have been playing some of their home games at either Dharamsala or Indore.
Kings XI played in the now-defunct Champions League Twenty20 once, in 2014, finished as semi-finalists. Some of the players of this season are Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Varun Chakravarthy, Murugan Ashwin, David Miller, Sarfaraz Khan, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair.
The cricket tournament Indian Premier League was introduced by Board of Control for Cricket in India in 2007.
It was based on the format of Twenty20. The team representing Punjab was bought by the Daburgroup’s Mohit Burman, the Wadia group’s Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta, and Saptarshi Dey of the Dey & Dey Group who paid $76 million to acquire the franchise.
But due to a controversy, the franchise contract of Kings XI Punjab was terminated. So a case was filed in Mumbai high court which resulted in the restoration of the position of KXIP.
The team got off to a slow start but eventually finished in sixth place overall, winning eight matches out of sixteen in 2012.
In 2014, KXIP made a masterstroke by winning all of their first five games. The stand out player was Glenn Maxwell with his powerful hitting, scoring 95, 89 and 95 in his first 3 innings with a strike rate of over 200. In 2016, the team had a terrible run.
The biggest change for KXIP for the 2019 season is not one on the field but behind the scenes. The best stroke would be the appointment of Mike Hesson as the head coach instead of Virender Sehwag.
As far as the bowling is concerned, the biggest asset is the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, a man who is supposed to have enough variations to last an entire over. He will serve as another addition to an already impressive-looking spin bowling attack.
In 9 50-over games, Varun snaffled 22 wickets and at an average of 16.68. He has the caliber to turn KXIP’s fortunes this year and can prove to be the X factor in Punjab’s arsenal.
Explosive with the bat and providing variety with the ball, Gurkeerat Singh Mann can be a very handy all-rounder to have for the shortest format of the game. This Punjabi cricketer comes with the added experience of international cricket, having represented India in three One Day Internationals.
CHANCES OF WINNING
Kings XI Punjab will be playing against Rajasthan Royals this season. Over the years, the Royals have had an upper hand against the Kings from Punjab, having won 10 of the 17 matches played between the two teams.
For KXIP, who had flattered to deceive last season, 2019 presents another chance to try and make amends to years of underachievement in the league. One of the major reasons why KXIP faded away after a good start last year was their over-dependence on opener KL Rahul. Rahul, who had his best season last year, scored 659 runs in 14 matches at a strike-rate of 158 last season.
After pulling off a heist against Rajasthan, KXIP will go into the game with great confidence. Kolkata Knight Riders will play host to match 6 of IPL 2019 and will be up against Kings XI Punjab who is fresh off a pretty controversial win against Rajasthan Royals. Both the teams have hit the ground running and are in good form ahead of this fixture.
Both the teams are equally capable of winning this match but KXIP has better chances of winning. The biggest gamechanger for KXIP will be Andrew Tye and their bowling lineup as a whole also seems to be much better than KKR’s.
Punjab’s greatest strength will be their opening combination of Gayle and Rahul and the former can’t be ignored this season.
-Written by Riya