Since reaching the finals of 2014 Indian Premier League, the franchise has failed to make it to the playoff in the past six editions. Last year, Punjab Kings once again were inconsistent and finished sixth in the league table with 12 points to their name.
In this year’s IPL Auction, Punjab Kings made their biggest player acquisition as they signed Australia pacer Jhye Richardson for a whopping fee of 14 crore. Rookie pacer Riley Meredith has been bought for a fee of 8 crore by Punjab to bolster the pace resources. Besides Richardson and Meredith, Fabian Allen, Moises Henriques and Dawid Malan are notable player signed by franchise for the coming season.
Punjab Kings have often finished at the bottom half of the table for the last six editions. Lokesh Rahul will lead the side for this year’s competition, while Anil Kumble will be head coach for the franchise this season.
Lokesh Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Mohammad Shami, Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle are premier players retained by Punjab Kings for the upcoming IPL season.
Moises Henriques, Fabian Allen and Shahrukh Khan are key players that will need to contribute with the bat for Punjab Kings this season.
The franchise has also plenty of experience in the batting department with Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan and Nicholas Pooran in the squad.
Lokesh Rahul is an explosive player at the top of the innings and would need to do the bulk of the scoring for the side. The right-handed batsman topped the batting charts in the previous edition of the league and would be keen to continue his merry ways with the bat.
Fabian Allen and Moises Henriques are two genuine all-rounders in the setup for the coming season. Henriques showed decent with the bat for Sydney Sixers earlier this year. and will need to do more with the ball. Mohammad Shami and Murugan Ashwin are experienced options in the bowling department for the franchise. The overseas signings of Jhye Richardson, Chris Jordan, Riley Meredith will add much needed potency to the bowling attack.
Middle-order will have to produce consistent scores with the bat if Punjab Kings aims to become serious challengers for the crown in the 14th edition of Indian Premier League.
Players to watch out for
There is no doubt that pacer Mohammad Shami is premier bowler for the side in this year’s competition. Last year, Mohammad Shami bowled exceedingly and finished with 20 wickets to his name. He certainly has the ability to create crucial breakthroughs with new and old ball.
Pacer Mohammad Shami can become a dangerous bowler when the pitch has some assistance for the quick bowlers.
After finishing last year’s competition as leading run-scorer and securing his first orange-cap, Rahul will be looking to put in splendid batting performances for Punjab Kings in the coming season. He is certainly one of most explosive openers playing in the Indian Premier League and will be looking to get his side off to fiery starts in the Powerplay overs.
Likely XI: Lokesh Rahul (captain & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh.