A file photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Done with the tag of being the most under-performing team among all Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, Kings Xi Punjab went for a star-studded batting line-up to roar loud in the upcoming edition.
Aiming to shed their inconsistent tag, Punjab has gone big on experience, especially in the batting department, making them the most dangerous side.
However, they might have the problem of plenty in the batting department.
With Ravichandran Ashwin, who has 100 wickets in 111 IPL games at an economy of under 7, as the skipper, the franchise would want to make a fresh start and aim at clinching the title in their eleventh attempt.
Before the auctions, Punjab had only retained Axar Patel. But back at the auctions in January, the franchise managed to grab Marcus Stoinis, Mohit Sharma and David Miller via the Right to Match Card.
However, during auction Punjab snapped experienced veterans, including the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle, who might not be as effective as in their prime but getting them at their base price is a street-smart move.
With Indian batsman KL Rahul, who is the costliest purchase of Punjab at Rs 11 crore, and Aussie opener Aaron Finch, Rs 6.2 crore, also in the scheme of things, Punjab look a formidable force ahead of the season.
Finch is a perfect option alongside Gayle atop and together the duo can dismantle any bowling line-up on a given day.
Finch has been in good form for the Aussies and he will look to carry on the momentum.
KL Rahul is another vital fit at the top order and will most likely keep wickets.
Yuvraj, who is also making a comeback to KXIP, will be hoping to make a difference in the middle order.
South African star David Miller is another experienced player and his presence also lifts up the side.
talking about the young guns, With Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal and Manoj Tiwary in the squad, the side does look well armoured.
However, consistency will be the key for KXIP’s batsmen to get big runs and help their side hold control in the game.
Meanwhile, the Australian bowler Andrew Tye, captain Ashwin himself, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran etc. pace up Punjab's bowling attack.
Although the pace bowling unit lacks the fire-power to deliver consistently.
The only loose point in KXIP is lack of a genuine wicketkeeper in the side. Therefore Rahul’s impact is crucial with little known Akshdeep Nath the back-up.
Ashwin's decision making is vital and with a lot of experienced foreign stars, he will get desired help
Altogether, Punjab dominates the batting order tut their weak pace department and Ashwin's inexperience as a skipper could separate Punjab from the teams which will reach play-offs.
Axar Patel (12.5 cr)
R Ashwin (7.6 cr), Yuvraj Singh (2 cr), Karun Nair (5.6 cr), KL Rahul (11 cr), David Miller (3 cr), Aaron Finch (6.2 cr), Marcus Stoinis (6.2 cr), Mayank Agarwal (1 cr), Ankit Rajpoot (3 cr), Manoj Tiwary (1 cr), Mohit Sharma (2.4 cr), Mujeeb Zadran (4 cr), Barinder Sran (2.2 cr), Andrew Tye (7.2 cr), Akshdeep Nath (1 cr), Ben Dwarshius (1.4 cr), Pardeep Sahu (20 L), Mayank Dagar (20 L), Chris Gayle (2 cr), Manzoor Dar (20 L)