Over the past two seasons, the Kings XI Punjab have found themselves on either side of the ladder, as far as the IPL glory is concerned.
While in 2014, they’d won 8 games in a row, and were prime contenders for the trophy before being ousted by the now defunct Chennai Super Kings in the playoffs, in 2015 their campaign witnessed a dismal run as they finished last on the points table and could win just 3 of their 14 games.
However, refurbished with young talent, as well as some key buys in the auction, the Mohali-based franchise would look to turn things around this season.
Their batting core consists of some T20 powerhouses in Glenn Maxwell, the captain, David Miller, and Shaun Marsh amongst overseas players, and some tried and tested Indian batsmen such as Manan Vohra, Murali Vijay, Gurkeerat Singh, and the under-19 sensation, Arman Jaffer.
Punjab also have some decent all-rounders in Rishi Dhawan, Marcus Stoinis, and Axar Patel, to go along with international experience in the bowling line-up comprising Mitchell Johnson, Kyle Abbott, and Mohit Sharma.
Sandeep Sharma and Anureet Singh, who were the mainstays for Punjab in their 2015 campaign, would look to push the bar even higher this season, along with Shardul Thakur, the tall Mumbai fast bowler who has impressed one and all with his Ranji Trophy exploits.
KC Cariappa remains as the only tested Indian frontline spinner in the squad, with Axar Patel and Glenn Maxwell expected to bowl with him in tandem.
However, in Swapnil Singh and Pradeep Sahu, the team has a left-arm spinner and a leg-break bowler, who could be given opportunities this season.
With a pool of talent in the squad, and the burgeoning expectations of doing well in the IPL consistently, picking the final XI for a game could be a tricky task for the captain, David Miller.
The team is scheduled to begin its campaign on April 11 against the Gujarat Lions at the PCA Stadium, Mohali.
Here, we try to predict the playing XI which is most likely to feature for Kings XI.