IPL 2019 – Match 52: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders – KXIP Predicted Playing XI

IPL 2019 – Match 52: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders – KXIP Predicted Playing XI

Murugan Ashwin may have not picked up a lot of wickets but has been most economical bowler for his side. Economy: 6.82

Ravi Ashwin
Ravi Ashwin. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) has been one of the biggest disappointments this season. Their 2019 campaign has been very similar to their 2018 one where they were good at the start and then tapered off at the back end. They had four wins out of their first six games but have now lost five games out of their next six.

One of the biggest reasons for KXIP’s downfall could be the constant chopping and changing. They have hardly played the same team in consecutive games. Inevitably, there are always a couple of changes every time. Moreover, like last year, the batting is largely reliant on the openers, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul.

They’ve lost their last three games in a row now and it has affected their chances of qualifying for the playoffs. The Ravichandran Ashwin-led side now needs to win both their games. What’s worse is that their net run rate of -0.29 is the worst amongst teams who can reach 14 points. But they will be happy to return to their home ground of Mohali where they have won four of their five games at the venue. They face KKR in their penultimate home game of the season.

Openers (KL Rahul and Chris Gayle)

The KXIP batting line-up has largely been all about their openers. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have accounted for nearly 50% of the teams runs this season. Both of them have had really good individual seasons but they haven’t been able to get KXIP over the line.

Rahul has scored 520 runs and it’s the second successive season he’s accumulated over 500 runs in a season. However, this year, he’s been circumspect at the start and had to accelerate later. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a typical Chris Gayle inning so far this season but he’s been good and consistent at the top.

Middle-order (Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, David Miller, Mandeep Singh)

The middle-order has been a big concern for KXIP. Mayank Agarwal has been scoring pretty 20s and 30s and is throwing it away. He’s looked in on multiple occasions but hasn’t capitalized on the starts he’s got. Nicholas Pooran has threatened to score big in the last couple of games. He’s struck the ball well but his innings haven’t really lasted long enough. He’s played just five games this season and is likely continue in the XI.

Barring an odd knock here and there, David Miller has been disappointing this season. In 10 innings, he’s scored just one fifty and also, has crossed 25 just three times. Prab Simran Singh was poor with the gloves and hence, Pooran might don the gloves. Moreover, Mandeep Singh might slot back in and replace the 18-year-old youngster.

All-rounders (Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin)

Sam Curran has constantly been in and out of the side. While he’s had a disappointing season with the bat, he’s done decently with the ball, picking up seven wickets in as many games. Curran’s inclusion may add some batting depth as well.

Ravichandran Ashwin has been in the news quite a bit in recent times. However, he hasn’t let that affect him on the field. He’s had a really good IPL so far. In 12 games, he’s returned with 14 wickets at an economy of 7.21.  He’s led the KXIP bowling and has had to take the bulk of the responsibility with the ball.

Bowlers (Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Arshdeep Singh)

Murugan Ashwin may have not picked up a lot of wickets but has been KXIP’s most economical bowler. He has an economy of 6.82 and has picked up five wickets. Mohammed Shami has been brilliant this season and has been the leader of the KXIP attack. The Bengal pacer has taken 16 wickets this season and has shouldered the responsibility of this bowling attack alongside Ravichandran Ashwin.

Numbers might not suggest but Arshdeep Singh has bowled decently in his first two games. He’s been under the pump in a couple of overs and has leaked runs. But overall, he’s been decent and will most likely continue to partner Shami in the fast bowling department.

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