IPL 2020: Can KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Anil Kumble deliver Kings XI Punjab their 1st IPL title

One of the heaviest spenders in the IPL 2020 auction, the IPL 2014 runners-up Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) has one of the lethal teams on paper and are strong contenders to lift IPL 2020 in UAE.

In the last two season, the franchise started well but tailed off as the group stages went on and had to settle for finishes outside of the Top 4. KXIP’s status as perennial underachievers is highlighted by the fact that they have only ever reached the knockout stages of the tournament twice – in 2008 and 2014, respectively. 

With a new venue and under new circumstances to make a statement, we evaluate the chances of the KXIP franchise of lifting the IPL 2020 title

1. Strengths

Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020: Explosive opening pair & batting lineup

An opening combination of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul – ensures plenty of runs on top of the order coupled with some explosive batting. Nicholas Pooran and Mayank Agarwal are also good options either atop or in the middle order. The presence of Glenn Maxwell as a big-hitter and the all-round options of Chris Jordan and James Neesham means the side should have enough firepower to win matches.

Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020: Exciting all-rounders department

In IPL 2019, KXIP’s major weakness was was the lack of good all-rounders but the franchise has done well to plug all the holes. They have rectified this perfectly by hiring 4 new faces in the form of Glenn Maxwell, Krishnappa Gowtham, James Neesham, and Deepak Hooda.

While Glenn Maxwell and Krishnappa Gowtham are certain to play, James Neesham and Deepak Hooda provide valuable backup options. Glenn Maxwell and Gowtham’s spin options would be valuable as they don’t have many spinners in their squad. 

2. Weaknesses 

Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020: Bereft of a strong support cast

While KXIP’s lead performers remain strong, the lack of a strong support cast suggests they might struggle again. The likes of Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda and Krishnappa Gowtham will need to perform more consistently to ensure too much pressure isn’t placed on the foreign players. 

The bowling unit also remains a worry. Mohammed Shami is a capable operator but far too much will depend on him and Sheldon Cottrell, who is making his IPL debut this season.

Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020: Threadbare spin attack

The absence of R Ashwin implies there will also be a lot of pressure on the younger or less experienced spinners to step up to the plate. The release of Ravichandran Ashwin and Varun Chakravarthy have left Kings XI Punjab with only Murugan Ashwin as the experienced Indian spinner. Thay means, the spin sensation from Afghanistan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman would lead the spin duties for Kings XI Punjab.

However, given the strength of their overseas contingent, Mujeeb would find it difficult to find a place in the playing 11 in all the matches. Hence, Murugan Ashwin will have to bring his top game along with the India U19 sensation, Ravi Bishnoi.

3. X-Factor (Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020)

Kings XI Punjab bought Glenn Maxwell for ₹10 Crore at the auction, and the Aussie all-rounder will undoubtedly be the X-Factor player for this Punjab side, especially with the tournament to be held in the UAE.

In 2014 IPL season, the Aussie was the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, in which the UAE hosted a few games. The pitch conditions certainly suit his style of batting, and he will be a vital cog in the side’s middle-order. That, coupled with his brilliant fielding and experience, makes Maxwell one of KXIP’s most important players this season.

4. Jersey & Sponsor (Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020)

The Title Sponsor of Kings XI Punjab is Ebix Cash, while its Principal Sponsors are–Jio Digital, Fena, Royal Stag and Dream 11. Kings XI has also roped in BKT as its Official Partner.

IPL 2020 Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Full Schedule

Match No Date Teams vs Teams Venue Time
match 2 20-Sep Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 07:30 PM
match 6 24-Sep Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 07:30 PM
match 9 27-Sep Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah 07:30 PM
match 13 01-Oct Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 07:30 PM
match 18 04-Oct Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 07:30 PM
match 22 08-Oct Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 07:30 PM
match 24 10-Oct Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 03:30 PM
match 31 15-Oct Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah 07:30 PM
match 36 18-Oct Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 07:30 PM
match 38 20-Oct Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 07:30 PM
match 43 24-Oct Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 07:30 PM
match 46 26-Oct Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah 07:30 PM
match 50 30-Oct Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 07:30 PM
match 53 01-Nov Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 03:30 PM