IPL 2012 Preview - Kings XI Punjab
A preview of the Punjab IPL team ahead of the upcoming IPL.
The Punjab team is an interesting team in the sense that it is one of the few teams that have refrained from going out and buying the big names. It also one of the few IPL teams that has a foreign player as captain. Kings XI Punjab so far in the short history of the Indian Premier League have failed to live up to their expectations and generally been below par with a semi-final being their best finish in the league. This year under their inspirational coach-cum-captain, Adam Gilchrist who had led Deccan Chargers to victory in 2009 would be hoping to go the distance.
Punjab's failure last year can be attributed to their failure to put up the runs on the board and the lack of big names in the batting department undid them. This year I fear the same might be the case unless some of the lesser known players such as Paul Valthaty take charge as he did last year. Gilchrist is growing older by the day and I feel that this might be his last IPL season and that he surely would be hoping that he clicks at the top of the order and provides those blitzkriegs. The big overseas names are David Hussey, Shaun Marsh, and David Miller. The mainstay of the batting would be resting on the shoulders of these players and Hussey's for would be crucial to Punjab's cause. The Indian batting consists of Tamil Nadu's Satish, Paul Valthaty and Paras Dogra. Not the biggest strikers of the ball, but they sure can pack a punch if they get going and as always with any IPL team, the performance of the 7 Indian players plays a very important role in deciding the result of a match.
Punjab have pretty good all-rounders in Dimitri Mascarenhas, and Abhisek Nayar providing much needed stability to the Punjab team and also at the same time shortening their long tail. It also bolsters their batting. Punjab last year in the field were horrible and looked like they couldn't catch a cold and this year they can't afford to do the same if they intend to go all the way.
Punjab's strong point is their bowling and they have some very good spinners in their ranks. Piyush Chawla, and Ramesh Powar would be critical in the middle overs. Praveen Kumar, Stuart Broad, Nathan Rimmington, and Harmeet Singh, all give Gilchrist more options and with a bunch of all-rounders and part-timers in their ranks the bowling options are plenty.
Punjab just don't seem to invoke confidence in me, and I don't rate their chances very high. Last year they played like a bunch of school kids with Gilchrist acting as the mature adult and I feel we might see a repeat of that. I'll be happy to be proven wrong and it would be great to have some competition from this team but I just don't see them making it to the last 4. Let's see how they go and if the do prove me wrong.