IPL 2017: Kings XI Punjab seek redemption after forgettable last season | ipl 2017 | Hindustan Times
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IPL 2017: Kings XI Punjab seek redemption after forgettable last season

Kings XI Punjab finished at the bottle of the table last season and they will be looking to change their fortunes in the tenth edition of Indian Premier League.

ipl 2017 Updated: Mar 28, 2017 18:23 IST
Glenn Maxwell will be leading Kings XI Punjab in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. He replaced Murali Vijay in that role.
Glenn Maxwell will be leading Kings XI Punjab in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. He replaced Murali Vijay in that role.(BCCI)

Off all the teams currently in the IPL or have been part of it, Kings XI Punjab have consistently performed under-par. Despite being part of the cash-rich league since its inception, the team’s best finishes can be counted as the semifinals in the inaugural season and a losing finalist in the 2014 season when Glenn Maxwell, who has been named skipper this year, scored runs in heaps to take the team to the final.

The upcoming 2017 season provides a glimmer of hope with Virender Sehwag being roped in as head of cricket operations. The franchisee has added the likes of Darren Sammy, Eoin Morgan and Martin Guptill to name a few.

“We feel that the auctions provided us with the right opportunity to build a robust squad and overcome all the gaps and requirements which the team initially faced. I am very optimistic with the balance we have achieved with the team this year. Glenn Maxwell, Murali Vijay, David Miller, Wriddhman Saha will be key players for us,” Sehwag said.

The bowling will see pacers Sandeep Sharma and Varun Aaron at front and centre of the attack, while Axar Patel will once again try and get into limelight. Left-arm Tamil Nadu pacer T Natarajan providing the variety to the pace attack.

The bottom rung finishes has been the norm largely due to the inconsistent team selection. In the 2016 season, Miller was named skipper but was dropped and replaced by Murali Vijay after the team lost five of its first six matches.

The off field controversies has also kept KXIP in news. Be it spat between one of the owners Preety Zinta and Bangar, which many think is the reason behind the latter leaving the side all together, to season one wherein Harbhajan Singh slapped Sreesanth after the match, KXIP have made news for the wrong reasons.

KEY PLAYERS

Glenn Maxwell: Named skipper by KXIP this season, he has had a horrid run in 2016. But it looks like the tide is changing for the Australian. A century in the ongoing India-Australia Test series it seems Maxwell has finally turned a new leaf. Known to have wide array of shots for the shortest form of the game, Maxwell has scored 918 runs and is a veteran of 43 matches in IPL.

David Miller: He struggled in 2016 IPL season. As a skipper, his struggles manifested into a team which failed to play as a cohesive unit and Miller quietly made way for Murali Vijay in the middle of the season. Miller has played 61 matches and has 1480 runs onboard at a strike rate of 144.39 and on his day he can prove to be a one-man demolition squad.

Shaun Marsh: A find of inaugural season for KXIP, Marsh went on to make his international debut for Australia on the back of some match winning performances in IPL. Marsh has scored 2213 runs from 62 matches at a strike rate of 132.35.

LAST SEASON

Kings XI Punjab had a horrible run of form last season and they finished the group stage at the bottom of the table with just 8 points from 14 matches.

SQUAD

David Miller, Manan Vohra, Axar Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhiman Saha, M Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, KC Cariappa, Armaan Jaffer, Pardeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, Hashim Amla, Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Martin Guptill, Darren Sammy, Rinku Singh.