As a rejigged squad with lots of fresh faces Kings XI Punjab will be banking to bucking the tag of perennial under achievers with the new season of Indian Premier League Season 7 starting on April 16 in United Arab Emirates.
The UAE-- Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium and Dubai International Cricket Stadium— are to host first 20 matches of the league. This after BCCI was forced to move the tournament out due to general elections in the country.
Kings XI Punjab face Chennai Super Kings on April 18 in their opening match of the season. With stalwart Adam Gilchrist retiring, the franchisee has trusted another Aussie George Bailey to lead the side.
Bailey has a rich experience of leading the Australian team and as KXIP assistant coach Sanjay Bangar put it “Bailey has proved his mettle as a captain by leading the Australian team to several victories in the past. He was a popular choice at the franchise and we are hopeful that his experience and guidance will lead the team to great success this season.”
IPL has never been a favourite hunting ground for KXIP. Their best finish so far has been reaching semifinals in the inaugural edition. Apart from the 2010 were the team finished last, they have firmly occupied the middle rung of the point table.
In this year’s auctions the team went for a complete overhaul and after retaining South African David Miller and Punjab opener Manan Vohra, the team managed to add big hitting talents like Glenn Maxwell, Bailey, Virender Sehwag, while retaining talisman Shaun Marsh.
Marsh has been with the squad since the inaugural edition and has never failed to come good for the team.
“We are pleased with the overall composition of the team and we feel that we have managed to add strong performers to the squad. By bringing both young and experienced players on board, we have tried to create a balanced team which can perform well.
We are hopeful about the upcoming season and hope to witness a fruitful and competitive cricketing tournament,” the franchisee said in its official release.