KXIP has always been one of the most underrated teams in IPL history. Though they had a terrific start in 2008 , KXIP failed to make impacts in the intermediate seasons till 2013. It was only in 2014 , when KXIP managed to reach the top position , only to end up as the runners-up. In the past 3 seasons, KXIP had to go through a series of poor performances , which further deteriorated their IPL franchise value.
But, it looks like the tides are going to change this season. The current squad boasts of having some well quality players on their side who can pave way for their victory this season.
let us look at the 4 reasons that might make KXIP the champions of IPL 2018
Abundance of opening combinations
KXIP has resorted to many changes on their side this season. They seem to have a plethora of opening batting combinations. Players like Chris Gayle , Aaron Finch, Karun Nair, KL Rahul can definitely give some massive boosts while opening up the innings .
With an all time T20 legend ,Chris Gayle heading the batting department, the fans are sure to witness a barrage of monstrous sixes throughout the stadium.
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Core Indian lineup
It has been 10 years since the start of IPL. The one factor that you would find in all the top performing franchises over the decade , is the presence of a strong Indian unit . Be it bowling, batting or wicket keeping, you just can’t ignore the contributions of the Indian side.
Indian cricketers play a pivotal role in ensuring their franchise’s victory . The abundance of talent and experience that they bring in , comes handy at many occasions . Kings XI Punjab had always faced the scarcity of potential Indian talent on their side which could have been one reason for their failures till date.
This season though, they have a strong Indian core group that can take up the mantle and lead when needed. Manoj tiwary , Axar Patel , KL Rahul , Karun Nair , Mayank Agarwal forming the core unit, KXIP is seems to leave no stone unturned to clinch their 1st trophy this season.
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Technically sound middle order
Punjab based franchise seems to have a highly sound middle order batting lineup. With players like Yuvraj Singh, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and David Miller forming the middle order, the opposition bowlers are sure to get thrashed for high economies this season.
What’s more valuable is the experience of the t20 format that these players bring in with them. If KXIP manages to get a monstrous start , backed by some ruthless hitting from the middle order batsmen, then nothing can stop them from clinching the trophy this season.
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The Key player for KXIP
There have been instances in the game of T20 cricket, when a single player has turned the course of the game in his team’s favor. If you look closely, you will observe that every franchise seems to rely on one key player, who can play the match winning cameos by bat or by bowl and steer them to victory.
The presence of an X-factor is a must in every franchise to bounce back from tough situations . KKR have Andre Russel and Sunil Narine, SRH has Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, CSK with DJ Bravo and Mumbai Indians with Pandya Brothers , are some of the key players for their franchises who have stood up with their performances when needed.
WIth the present squad, Marcus Stoinis seems to be the X-factor for KXIP this season. He shot into limelight with his match winning knock of 146 against New Zealand at Auckland.
Despite Kings XI failing to perform well throughout the season, Stoinis kept on contributing on many occasions. He scored 146 runs in the 5 innings that he played with a strike rate of 135.18, with 8 wickets . His performances helped him to establish a spot in the Punjab based franchise.