Kings Eleven Punjab has been one of those teams which always springs up a surprise in the IPL. They have had a roller coaster ride in the IPL over the nine seasons. They have been brilliant at times but have been a mere shadow of themselves in some seasons.So a new season beckons the side which promises a lot but often fails to deliver.
Punjab shall be led by Aussies Glen Maxwell who played an instrumental role in taking the team to the finals in 2014.
The side which dons the 'Pink and Whites' playing jersey have produced sparks of brilliance and has been quite the crowd favourite. With their ever cheerful owner cum die-hard fan Printy Zinta cheering them on the wings at their home turfs in Mohali and the scenic Dharamsala, Punjab shall once again pose a strong challenge to the bigwigs in the 10th season of the IPL.
The fans witnessed the best of Punjab in the 2014 season when they reached the grand finale only losing out to Kolkata Knight Riders in the finals. They had a brilliant outing in the inaugural season when they ended up an impressive third among eight teams in the fray.
So let us analyse what the Kings Eleven have in their arsenal for season ten of the IPL
Kings Eleven Punjab Squad
Batsman: Shaun Marsh, Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra, Martin Guptill, David Miller, Eoin Morgan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Armaan Jaffer, Rinku Singh
Bowlers: Matt Henry, Sandeep Sharma, Varon Aaron, Anureet Singh, Swapnil Singh, Shivam Sharma, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, KC Cariappa
Allrounders: Glen Maxwell, Axar Patel, Darren Sammy, Pradeep Sahu, Marcus Stoinis
Wicket-keepers: Wriddiman Saha, Nikhil Nayak
The batting unit has the firepower to decimate any bowling line-up in the tournament. Shaun Marsh has been the lynchpin of their batting and has been an ever-consistent run maker for the Kings. Hashim Amla adds the dependability factor at the top of the innings with his calm and composed temperament. Kiwi's explosive opener Martin Guptill can also slay the best of attacks with the touch of elegance. The middle order seems to be their strongest cog in the wheel.
With the likes of Aussies ace all-rounder Glen Maxwell and the dangerous Proteas David Miller who both have proven to be outright match-winners with their explosive strokeplay, Punjab can surely pack a punch. Kings have further strengthened their batting by picking up Eion Morgan who can be destructive with the willow.Meanwhile, Wridiman Saha shall be donning the keeping gloves and would look to contribute with some valuable knocks.
Darren Sammy has showcased his match-winning capabilities by producing some whirlwind cameos down the order and chipping in with vital wickets as a partnership breaker.
The bowling shall be spearheaded by Kiwi speedster Matt Henry who shall add an element of pace. Sandeep Sharma has been highly effective for the Kings in seam friendly conditions. Varon Aaron can rack up some serious pace to unnerve the best batsman. They have a good backup of seamers in Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma and T Natarajan who can trouble best with their seam movement across the pitch.
Spin: They don’t have a frontline spinner but the likes of Akshar Patel, Glen Maxwell and KC Carriapa have been handy in breaking partnerships by rolling over their arms.
So in a nutshell, the team has the arsenal to be serious challengers for the title but the biggest questions that remains is whether can they fire collectively as a unit which has certainly been their biggest weakness.