Kings XI Punjab are one of the three teams yet to win the IPL, along with Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Known for constant chopping and changing, KXIP will be playing under their 14th captain in thirteen seasons.
The last two seasons saw KXIP coming agonizingly close to the playoffs but missing out due to mess-ups in the second half of the tournament. With a new skipper this season and a team with improved balance, KXIP start as the dark horses for the season.
As we near the start of the tournament, we look at how the KXIP batsmen have performed against different bowling types since 2018:
- KL Rahul has been a class apart in the last two editions, not only for KXIP but among all teams. While he played with his naturally aggressive style in 2018, the 2019 edition saw him looking to bat through the innings. Along with most runs, Rahul has the most runs per innings, and fourth-best balls per boundary.
- The sorry state of affairs is that nobody except Gayle and Rahul has stood up to the occasion. However, expectations will be huge from Pooran, who played well in the limited opportunities last season, and Maxwell, who is returning to his more favored venue.
- The KXIP openers have been terrific against right-arm pacers; Rahul and Gayle both score at a 140-plus strike rate and get out once every 51 and 29 balls respectively.
- Among others, Mandeep and Sarfaraz have been decent, but remaining batsmen have a lot of scope for improvement.
- The two prominent middle order guys Maxwell and Pooran have struggled against right-arm pacers, each getting out every 11 balls.
- Rahul stands out both in terms of consistency and scoring rate, while Gayle needs to better his dismissal rate.
- Mayank and Maxwell have been quite aggressive, though the sample space is low.
- Chris Gayle seems to have been tied down by the off-spinners, as he scores at a pretty un-Gayle-istic strike rate of 91.25 and gets dismissed every 27 balls.
- Skipper Rahul has been brutal in terms of strike rate (192.72), but he needs to improve on his dismissal rate. Getting out every 16 balls against offies being a right hander is certainly not impressive.
- Middle order guys including Pooran, Mandeep and Mayank have terrific scoring rates, while Mayank needs to better his dismissal rate.
- Maxwell, Mandeep and Mayank have been clearly vulnerable against left-arm orthodox spinners. Maxwell in particular, gets out every 5 balls and scores at a strike rate of 86.67.
- No other batsman has a glaring weakness against the SLA spinners, though they can improve upon the scoring rates.
- Chris Gayle has been one of the best in the league against wrist spinners since 2018. The opener gets out once every 40 balls and is one of the only two batsmen to score at a 200-plus strike rate against wrist spin since 2018.
- Mandeep and Karun need to score faster while Mayank and Maxwell need to better the rate of dismissal.
- Rahul has a terrific strike rate and a decent dismissal rate (28.4). Pooran is yet to be dismissed, having played 21 deliveries and has a strike rate of 147.62.
KXIP have in their ranks one of the best players of wrist spin in Gayle along with one of the brightest prospects against them in Pooran. Rahul has been more than decent too and Maxwell and Mayank have scored at a rapid pace. Overall, the KXIP lineup seems to be the best equipped to handle wrist spin.
Most of the KXIP batsmen, however, need to improve their overall dismissal rate. With the scoring rate on the higher side, if they can better their staying duration on the wicket, there is no stopping this KXIP lineup.