Kings XI Punjab 2014: Squad, Auction Deals, Captain, Probable Team
The Kings XI Punjab had a mixed bag of results during the IPL in 2013. They won eight games but lost just as many and finished in the bottom three of the table. Their best ever finish was in 2008, when they ended up as semi-finalists.
They are one of the teams who have historically relied heavily on their overseas strength since the majority of their Indian players are fairly unknown.
That has changed somewhat this season and they have enlisted the help of some big-name local talent and a solid mix of overseas stars.
On paper, the Kings XI certainly have the talent to challenge for a spot in the semi-finals once again.
As part of Bleacher Report's extensive coverage of this season's Indian Premier League, this slideshow will preview the Kings XI Punjab's prospects this year.
Total squad: 23 players
Overseas players: seven
Batsmen: eight. Bowlers: eight. All-rounders: six. Wicketkeepers: one
Kings XI Full Squad List:
Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Virender Sehwag, Rishi Dhawan, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhiman Saha, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Beuran Hendricks, Thisara Perera, Gurkeerat Singh, Murali Kartik, Sandeep Sharma, Mandeep Singh, Akshar Patel, Parvinder Awana, Anureet Singh, Shardul Thakur, Karanveer Singh, Shivam Sharma, Manan Vohra, David Miller.
Kings XI opted to retain just two players in David Miller and Manan Vohra. They forked out a fair bit of cash to bring the likes of Virender Sehwag and Mitchell Johnson to the franchise. In total, Preity Zinta's team spent $9.23 million (Rs.55.90 crore) with Johnson being the most expensive player at over $1 million.
Kings XI Punjab full 2014 auction spend (via firstpost.com)
Mitchell Johnson $1.08 million
Glenn Maxwell $1 million
George Bailey $541,000
Virender Sehwag $533,000
Rishi Dhawan $500,000
Shaun Marsh $366,000
Wriddhiman Saha $366,000
Cheteshwar Pujara $316,000
Laxmipathy Balaji $300,000
Beuran Hendricks $300,000
Thisara Perera $266,000
Gurkeerat Singh $216,000
Murali Kartik $170,000
Sandeep Sharma $141,000
Mandeep Singh $133,000
Akshar Patel $125,000
Parvinder Awana $108,000
Anureet Singh $33,000
Shardul Thakur $33,000
Karanveer Singh $16,000
Shivam Sharma $16,000
Rating Their Business
The best bit of business the Kings XI did was bringing Glenn Maxwell to the franchise. He has played in the IPL twice before—in 2012 and 2013—and those performances were somewhat underwhelming.
However, Maxwell has recently managed some good knocks on the international stage, and shown why he could be one of the most dangerous players in the game. Kings XI will be hoping he can transfer some of that form to the IPL.
Retaining David Miller was a good call, especially after his breathless hundred for the franchise last year. It's clear that the franchise wanted to make a clean start and build a core team of handy Indian players, like Virender Sehwag, Laxkshmipathy Balaji, Murali Kartik and Cheteshwar Pujara.
That's far better than the squad they had before.
With a good mix of local players and just seven internationals, the Kings XI have a well-balanced team to choose from. There might be some weakness in the bowling department with Mitchell Johnson, although now fit, often struggling with injury and South African Beuran Hendricks often being wayward.
Captain and Coach
George Bailey will captain the team, with Virender Sehwag revealing he wasn't interested in doing so.
In an interview with NDTV Sehwag said:
I was asked [by the Kings XI Punjab] if I wanted to be the captain; but I said if there are other options, I would prefer to be just a player. My role will be the same with what I have been doing in the Indian team. I will guide the youngsters and try to motivate them.
Bailey captains the Australian T20 side and seems a natural second choice. The coaching staff consists of Sanjay Bangar as head coach and R Sridhar as fielding coach. Bangar played in a few internationals for India while Sridhar is a spinner from Hyderabad.
There is nothing overly flash about their support staff and it will be all about sticking to the basics for the Kings XI.
1. Virender Sehwag
2. Mandeep Singh
3. Shaun Marsh
4. Cheteshwar Pujara
5. George Bailey(c)
6. Glenn Maxwell
7. Wriddhiman Saha
8. Rishi Dhawan
9. Mitchell Johnson
10. Murali Kartik
11. Lakshmipathi Balaji
Predictions in the shortest format of the game, in particular in tournaments like the IPL, can quickly be proven somewhat foolish.
There are so many variables to consider in the format and it's so easy for one player to completely change a game.
The Kings XI wanted a fresh start and new blood in their squad
They have got it. Now it is up to the likes of Sehwag, Pujara and Bailey to fire with the batting. In the bowling department, Johnson will have to play well and Balaji will be key, too. The rest of the young Indian bowlers have a chance to prove their worth and will have to support the international stars.
Overall, Kings XI will surprise a few teams this tournament, but they will probably just miss out on a semi-final berth.