IPL 2021: Best Predicted Playing XI of Punjab Kings (PBKS)

IPL 2021: Best Predicted Playing XI of Punjab Kings (PBKS)

After letting go Glenn Maxwell and James Neesham, the Punjab Kings had a visible plan as they slotted in overseas all-rounders Shakib al Hasan, Moises Henriques, and Fabien Allen.

Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul
Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The Kings XI Punjab, as they were until last year, gave us some thorough entertainment. At the start of the tournament, they had truckloads of problems facing right in their eyes. Some controllable, some beyond their reach. They lost games from unbelievable situations.

In their second fixture of the season, they messed up a chase, needing a solitary run in three deliveries. Against Rajasthan Royals, they lost despite posting a target that was never chased in the IPL history. In another classical KXIP-esque loss, they faltered and fell two runs short in a chase they completely dominated against Kolkata Knight Riders. All they had was two points from seven fixtures. However, what followed was one of the most riveting comeback tales of all time.

Coming out of the grave, the Kings salvaged their dented pride and found themselves winning the kind of games they were losing. From the one-for-the-ages encounter (read: double Super Over) clash against Mumbai Indians to another Super Over heist against the Delhi Capitals, they scripted the most incredible redemption.

After unceasingly toppling one team after another, their prediction-defying, unrealistically dramatic streak of five wins was brought to a sudden halt and it was gut-wrenching that despite all the hard-work, KXIP failed in booking a top-four berth. However, with the largest purse in the mini-auction ahead of the upcoming season, the Punjab Kings were, on expected lines, the most active team and they have laid the foundation of a promising season through their picks.

They bolstered their bowling column by the Australian pace duo of Jhye Richardson (INR 14 Crore) and Riley Meredith (INR 8 Crore) and broke the bank to occupy South African all-rounder Chris Morris (INR 16.25 Crore, the most expensive IPL buy).

After letting go Glenn Maxwell and James Neesham, the Kings had a visible plan and they slotted in overseas all-rounders Shakib al Hasan (INR 1.5 Crore), Moises Henriques (INR 75 Lakhs), and Fabien Allen (INR 75 Lakhs), apart from investing in Indian all-rounders Jalaj Saxena (INR 30 Lakhs) and Saurabh Kumar (INR 20 Lakhs). While the jaw-dropping deals of Chris Morris and Jhye Richardson made the hustle, the Kings made a steal deal in Dawid Malan, the number T20I batsman, for INR 1.5 Crore and also roped in the young, uncapped sensation Shahrukh Khan for INR 5.5 Crore.

What would be an ideal XI for Punjab Kings in IPL 2021? Let’s take a look –

1. KL Rahul

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The flamboyant Indian right-hander had set the IPL alight through his consistent performances last year. Right from the onset, KL Rahul had set the tone for the tournament with the bat and he made a matchless pair with Mayank Agarwal in the openers’ slot. Despite getting little or, at times, even no support from the members around him, skipper Rahul denied to budge against any odd and fought like a lone warrior on many occasions.

Even though his team had a tough time in the first phase of the tournament, Rahul’s bat spitted fire and barely took the foot off the accelerator. So convincingly dominating was his prowess in the tournament that he named the Orange Cap to himself despite his team not making it into the Playoffs. Rahul slammed a century and 5 half-centuries in 14 games, amassing a staggering 670 runs at an impressive average of 55.83.

He admitted about the harsh learnings in his maiden stint as a captain and undeniably displayed the caliber to lead. With plenty of fresh faces and some old ones in the mix, both the batsmen and captain in him would be itching to head into the new season with full force.