Written byParth Dhall
After twelve seasons of Indian Premier League, Kings XI Punjab are one of the three franchises to have never won a title.
Notably, they haven't even booked a spot in the final since the 2014 edition.
However, the tables can turn around this time for KXIP under the newly-appointed captain KL Rahul.
Let us analyze KXIP's squad ahead of the impending IPL season.
Glenn Maxwell (Rs. 10.75 crore), Sheldon Cottrell (Rs. 8.5 crore), Deepak Hooda (Rs. 50 lakh), Ishan Porel (Rs. 20 lakh), Ravi Bishnoi (Rs. 2 crore), Jimmy Neesham (Rs. 50 lakh), Chris Jordan (Rs. 3 crore), T Dhillon (Rs. 20 lakh), P Singh (Rs. 20 lakh).
Kings XI Punjab have a dashing opening pair in the form of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul.
The likes of Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Karun Nair and Sarfaraz Khan further strengthen the batting order.
Among overseas players, Glenn Maxwell will be pivotal for KXIP's batting line-up, considering his current form.
Meanwhile, Caribbean star Nicholas Pooran is yet another useful option.
Unlike the previous few seasons, KXIP have a decent pool of all-rounders this term.
They have the services of New Zealand's fast-bowling all-rounder James Neesham, while Maxwell could also chip in with his off-break.
Indian all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham has proved his mettle in the Indian Premier League in past.
Besides, Deepak Hooda is another spin-bowling all-rounder in the squad.
Fast bowling is one department where the KXIP have faltered previously.
However, the fiery Mohammed Shami will be complemented by either Chris Jordan or Sheldon Cottrell, this time around.
Also, South African seamer Hardus Viljoen could be on radar, owing to his attributes.
While India Under-19 leg-spinner will likely hog the limelight, Afghanistan's Mujeeb Ur Rahman must be a certain starter.
The complete squad of KXIP: Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, KL Rahul (C), Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh.
It has been a while since Kings XI Punjab have stamped their authority in India's cash-rich league.
The appointment of skipper Ravichandran Ashwin didn't work as well.
However, the pair of head coach Anil Kumble and captain Rahul certainly bring in fresh hope for KXIP.
Probably XI: Gayle, Rahul (C/WK), Mayank, Nair, Maxwell, Mandeep, Mujeeb, Shami, Bishnoi, Cottrell, Porel.
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