The Indian Premier League (IPL) is rolling into its 13th year, but with a difference, with an entire season being held outside India for only the second time. For Kings XI Punjab, who haven’t won a title so far, these 5 players could make a difference in UAE:
5. Sheldon Cottrell
Set to play his first season of IPL, the West Indian left-arm pacer is known for his quick, zippy bowling that could give KXIP an edge on the UAE wickets. His bustling four-over spell at the start could be very difficult to score off in the powerplay – mind you, he averages 19.00 with the ball in T20s.
4. Ravi Bishnoi
He was very impressive for India in the U19 World Cup this year, turning and looping the ball without any fear. On the UAE pitches, he could be the ideal spinner for KXIP, an attacking option who could be a key weapon in the middle overs.
3. Glenn Maxwell
The Australian big-hitter is returning after a brief break from the game, and having taken a sabbatical last year, and will be itching to get going with a big season this year. In the IPL, he has a whopping strike-rate of 161 and could be a proper hit on UAE’s slow pitches.
2. Ishan Porel
The pacer, who has represented India U19 in the past, is one of the young guns to watch out for, and has racked up impressive numbers in his domestic career so far. Known to rack up some impressive pace, he would make an exciting combination with Cottrell.
1. KL Rahul
Rahul continues to get better year after year in T20 cricket, and has had two blockbuster seasons for Punjab, averaging over 50. Opening the batting, he sets the tone for the innings and has a penchant to play the long knocks in the format. The added role of captaincy could also bring out the best in him.