History:

2008: Semi-Finalists [2]

2009: Group Stages [5]

2010: Group Stages [8]

2011: Group Stages [6]

2012: Group Stages [5]

2013: Group Stages [6]

2014: Finalists [1]


 

Kings XI Punjab’s IPL campaign started brilliantly finishing 2nd in the group stages of the competition’s inaugural season in 2008. However, they failed to capitalize on their form and were knocked out in the semi-finals when Chennai Super Kings comprehensively beat them by 9 wickets.

In the following seasons, they haven’t failed to make much impact on the tournament despite playing some attractive cricket from time to time. Narrowly missing out on the play-offs twice in ’09 & ’13, they even finished last on the table in 2010.

The previous season saw a marked change in the mind-sets of the Kings XI players. Decorously utilizing their strongest team yet, they topped the group stages having won 11 out of their 14 matches. After losing to Kolkata Knight Riders in the 1st Qualifier, they recovered to beat Eliminator-winner Chennai in the 2nd Qualifier. Having posted a mammoth total of 199 on the back of a 55-ball 115 from ‘keeper Wriddhiman Saha, only an inspired 94 from Manish Pandey & Piyush Chawla heroics at the end of the innings managed to keep IPL glory out of reach of the Mohali-based Punjab Franchise!


 

Team:

With the Indo-Australian coach-captain duo of Sanjay Bangar & George Bailey working like a dream, the team managed to end up finalists in the 2014 season. They will hope to repeat the feat, if not better it this season. The co-owner, Preity Zinta can be seen as part of the spectators or dug-out in virtually all their matches and is a huge source of morale and important part of the team. Going into the auction, they had 8 empty slots left having let go of 4 Indian players; 3 of which they ended up filling. Out of the three new entries, the name of Indian Test opener Murali Vijay would probably excite Kings XI fans the most as it brings some much-needed balance to the team at the top of the batting order.

They have a solid batting line-up which can set and chase totals as well as their sound bowling attack can be used to defend one. Having arguably the strongest contingent of foreign players in the tournament, they will be expected to challenge for the title and are one of the favourites to make it to the play-offs. Provided they are not disheartened by the loss in the final and play with the same determination & belief as before, they are capable of one-upping themselves and winning the trophy this time.


 

SQUAD for IPL 8:

Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karanveer Singh, Manan Vora, Mitchell Johnson, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Shaun Marsh, Shivam Sharma, Thisara Perera, Virender Sehwag, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Yogesh Golwalkar

IN:

Murali Vijay (3 Cr), Nikhil Naik(30 L), Yogesh Golwalkar (10 L)

OUT:

Mandeep Singh (RCB), Murali Kartik (Unsold), Lakshmipathy Balaji (Unsold), Cheteswar Pujara (Unsold)

Best Buy: Murali Vijay


 

Impact Players:

Virender Sehwag – One of India’s most-feared openers till date, this man can take any bowler apart on his day. The batsman has a point to prove to all his detractors who believe he is incapable of replicating the form the Nawab of Najafgarh was most famous for.

Glenn Maxwell – The Australian all-rounder featured in the Cricket World Cup’s XI and it’s easy to see why. He is a game-changer both with the bat and the ball. He can hit bowlers all-round the park with a massive plethora of shots he has at his disposal and can contain the opposition with some smart bowling too.

David Miller – Well-known for his ability to resurrect collapsed innings, one fondly remembers his 101 not out of 38 balls successfully chasing 190 against Bangalore in his debut season with two overs to spare. The South African is capable of decimating oppositions at will with some clean but hard hitting, and is a great asset in the field too.

Mitchell Johnson – The lethal Australian fast-bowler can rip apart any batting line-up, however strong. A decent pinch-hitter too, he performed admirably in the previous season and was one of the main reasons Punjab were able to achieve runners-up position. His spell terrorized the Kiwi batsmen in the World Cup final and he would look to carry over similar form to help Kings XI finally win the coveted trophy!

 

 

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