King’s XI Punjab’s run in the IPL, thus far, has been disappointing to say the least. The fans had hoped that their favorite club’s journey would be reminiscent of the owner Preity Zinta’s famous dimples: Sweet! Unfortunately, it has been nothing like that. After a good run in the inaugral edition of the IPL, things have pretty much gone downhill for the King’s XI team. Preity Zinta, however, has left no stones unturned. From egging on the boys in each and every match from the dug out wearing the team Jersey to giving ‘Jadu ki Jhappis’, she had tried every trick in the book to boost her boys! However, things have not gone her way, despite best efforts! Let’s see, if this season, things might be a little different or not!
Batsmen: Virender Sehwag, George Bailey, David Miller, Shaun Marsh, Cheteshwar Puja, Manan Vohra
Bowlers: Beuran Hendriks, Murali Kartick, Parvinder Awana, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Anureet
All Rounders: Mitchell Johnson,Glen Maxwell, Thisara Perera, Rishi Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Akshar Patel, Karanveer Singh
Wicket Keeper: Wriddhiman Saha, Gurukreet Mann
1. Virender Sehwag: I agree, things have not exactly been all hunky- dory for Sehwag for the past year or so, being stripped from the National colors and his services being limited only to the domestic circuits. However, I don’t have the guts to do a preview of a T20 team which has Sehwag in it and exclude him from the Game Changers list! I, genuinely believe, he is that kind of a player to whom form doesn’t matter. On his day, he can rip apart any attack, irrespective of his form! The opposition captain will always breath easy if he finds Sehwag is missing from the opposite team and that is why he becomes an automatic choice in this elite list!
2. Shaun Marsh: I feel he is one of the most complete and naturally gifted batsman in the modern era. The ease with which he faces the toughest of bowlers is mesmerizing, to say the least. Also, the thing I like about him is his decisive footwork against spin, that too in subcontinental conditions. He would probably find his name alongside the likes of Alaistair Cook and Michael Clarke in the list of players who have played the Indian spinners in Indian conditions with supreme confidence! He has been a disappointment for Australia but for King’s XI, he has been their talisman, for sure, churning out consistent performances, season after season.
3. David Miller: This South African has a lot of things going for him. Quick footwork, Fast hands and an attacking instinct makes him search for runs every moment. He has been THE find for King’s XI last season, having single handedly won them a couple of games, having scored a brilliant ton in one of them. He has had a decent run with the National team too, and would be desperately looking to add momentum to King’s XI wavering IPl journey! Of course, his fieldind deserves a special mention too!
Mitchell Johnson: Well, you just don’t know what to expect from this fellow. From being Australia’s favorite poster boy to being dropped unceremoniously from the Team, he has indeed seen it all. His talent and ability is there for every one to see. The sheer pace and intensity with which he delivers is pretty impressive and this has been the main reason why he has managed to unsettle the best of the best. However, there is a big question mark over his temperament and this has been the sole reason behind his occasional downward slides! If he can keep that in check, there is no doubt he will prove to be an useful asset for the King’s XI.
THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Mandeep Singh: Well, he is not entirely new to the scene. For the past two seasons, he has churned out quite a few decent performances for the King’s XI team and given them that much needed stability at the top. This time around too, I see him playing a very important role at the top and if he manages to gel with the likes of Sehwag and Marsh at the top, then half the battle will be won!
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SEASON
I feel this King’s XI team is the best they have ever had. Good attacking batsmen both at the top and middle order, good fielders and a few decent bowlers make them a pretty formidable side. They do lack a bit of fire power in the bowling department, however, and might find themselves struggling against a strong batting line up: the likes of RCB, may be. However, all in all, I believe they might just dish out their best performance in the IPL thus far. The Punjabis might just be able to make some ‘Dhoom’ this time around!