The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL7) turned out to be the best IPL season (so far) for the Kings XI Punjab. Their policy of aggressive bidding and buying big players worked and they finished second in the table. By the virtue of their best-ever show at the IPL7, they made it to the Champions League T20 (CLT20 2014) for the first time, and now they would look to continue their aggressive brand of cricket in the tournament.
Punjab’s greatest strength is their batting. They have a very power-packed batting line-up that can destroy any bowling attack in the world.
Taking about their bowling, the absence of Mitchell Johnson, who has been ruled out of the tournament due to an injury, has come as a big blow to Punjab, as he’s the spearhead of their bowling unit. Now, in the absence of Mitchell Johnson, Thisara Parera and Lakshmipathy Balaji will have to step up and take the charge of the bowling unit. Punjab’s bowling unit looks decent, but the lack of experience might get better of them in the crunch situations.
Now, let’s have a closer look at Punjab’s options by breaking them into two departments- batting and bowling:
Talking about Kings XI Punjab’s batting, they should open with Virender Sehwag and Manan Vohra, as both of these batsmen are free flowing batsmen who can make the best use of the fielding restrictions. Wriddhiman Saha should bat at 3, as he can negotiate the new ball in the case of an early wicket, and in the last season of the IPL, he showed that he can bat aggressively, too. Glenn Maxwell, Kings XI Punjab’s X-factor should bat at 4 or 3 depending upon the position of the match and overs left.
George Bailey at 5, David Miller at 6 and Thisara Parera at 7, to do all the hitting and finishing in the end.
Punjab’s fast bowling department looks good but a bit inexperienced with the likes of Parvinder Awana and Rishi Dhawan. Here, Thisara Parera and Lakshmipathy Balaji, will have to step-up their performance. Young Akhsar Patel, who bowled brilliantly in the IPL7, has the ability to not let the batsmen score freely, and this makes him a compulsory selection.
Wriddhiman Saha (wk)
George Bailey (c)