Kings XI Punjab suffered their third consecutive loss to Chennai Super Kings in their last game and fourth overall in IPL 2020. With only one victory in their kitty, Kings XI Punjab are on the last position and in need of a quick turnaround to get their campaign back on track. They will face David Warner’s SunRisers Hyderabad, who are slightly in a better place in the current edition of IPL.
KXIP captain KL Rahul has been in a brilliant and so is his opening partner Mayank Agarwal, who have captured the first and third spot in the race for the Orange Cap. However, it is their bowling line-up that has been underperforming. Their margin of defeat to Chennai Super Kings was a stunning ten-wicket one as their new-ball bowlers were extremely ineffective. Hence, their bowling line-up needs to produce the goods.
We take a look at Kings XI Punjab’s predicted eleven ahead of their IPL 2020 game against SunRisers Hyderabad:
KL Rahul (c):
With 302 runs in five matches, KL Rahul is the highest run-getter and the current holder of the Orange Cap. KL Rahul top-scored for Kings XI Punjab against CSK with 63 off 52 deliveries. However, his innings came under criticism mainly due to his failure to accelerate earlier. Hence, the skipper might want to consider going hammer and tongs, playing his natural game instead of the conservative one.
With 272 runs in five innings, Mayank Agarwal is third on the list for the Orange cap and is not far away from overtaking his skipper. So far, Mayank Agarwal has a century and fifty in IPL 2020 and has formed the best opening pairs along with KL Rahul this season. He scored 26 runs against CSK and helped stitch of 61 for the opening wicket.
Mandeep Singh replaced Karun Nair for the game against CSK and displayed his potential straight away. He clattered 27 runs off only 16 balls and would have been keen to notch up more runs. Kings XI Punjab will persist with him as the youngster has shown signs of immense potential even in the past.
Nicholas Pooran (wk):
Nicholas Pooran shared a partnership of 58 along with KL Rahul that promised Kings XI Punjab a total in excess of 190 against CSK. In his 17-ball 33, Nicholas Pooran clubbed three sixes and a sole boundary. However, Pooran and Rahul lost their wickets in the 18th over as KXIP had to settle for 178 only eventually. He also kept wickets against Chennai and is expected to do so again.
Glenn Maxwell has had an underwhelming season so far, having notched up his services for INR ten crores. Glenn Maxwell walked in at the loss of Nicholas Pooran and faced only seven deliveries against CSK, managing 11 runs in those. While it is true that Maxwell has not been in a form as expected, Kings XI Punjab might have underutilized him slightly.
Sarfaraz Khan has not got enough chances to bat in IPL 2020 either. Against CSK, he faced nine deliveries and did his bit of scoring 14 runs with two boundaries. Hence, there is indeed a case of giving the right-handed a promotion in one of the games moving forward.
Chris Jordan returned against Chennai Super Kings and played his first since KXIP’s opener against Delhi Capitals. However, Chris Jordan suffered a nightmare three overs. Jordan, who got drafted in the side in place of James Neesham, leaked 42 runs in three overs. Despite that, KXIP could stick with the England pacer.
Harpreet Brar replaced off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham in the line-up and played his first match of IPL 2020; however, could hardly trouble Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis. He conceded 41 runs in four overs, going for five boundaries and one six. However, KXIP are likely to persist with him since one match might not be the right judge.
Ravi Bishnoi was the most economical bowler against Chennai Super Kings as he went only for 8.33 runs per over in four. While he was amongst the wickets in almost all the previous games, the 20-year old could not dismiss Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis. In fact, Watson smashed a 101 meter six against the leggie.
Mohammed Shami held the purple Cap briefly and began his IPL 2020 with an impressive and economical bowling spell. With eight wickets from five games at 19.12, he still remains in the race. However, Mohammed Shami has also gone expensive and was unable to buy even a single scalp against Chennai Super Kings. He gave away 35 runs in 3.4 overs, leaking two boundaries and a six.
It could be time that Kings XI Punjab throws in Mujeeb-Ur-Rahaman, replacing Sheldon Cottrell. While Mujeeb-Ur-Rahaman could also replace Chris Jordan, the latter provides an edge with the bat. Cottrell seems to have adopted an inconsistency while his death bowling has not been as impressive. Mujeeb, who was the second-highest wicket-taker in CPL 2020 with 16, would be high on confidence and exploit the slow tracks in the UAE.