Ravichandran Ashwin was named as the captain of Kings Eleven Punjab this year. He is the eleventh captain of the team. KXIP is another franchise that appointed ten captains for the ten IPL seasons like the Delhi DareDevils. This spinner is expected to change the fortune of the team by his leadership skills though he was not a regular player for team India right now.KXIP ended in the fifth position in the previous IPL season. The team is known for a whopping number of overseas players but this move did not impact the performance of the team apart from being the semi-finalists in 2008 and ending up as the runners-up in 2014.
The threats for the team are inconsistency among the batsmen. To compensate this, the franchise bagged KL Rahul from Karnataka franchise and Mayank Agarwal from the U19 team. KL Rahul was picked by the franchise for a deal of Rs.11 crore and he was the second costliest buy from the Indian players this IPL. The team accommodated Karun Nair, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, and Marcus Stoinis to strengthen the batting order. Ashwin, being the leggie himself, will shoulder the spin-bowling department along with the wrist-spinners like Mohit Sharma. The all-round department comprised of Andrew Tye, Yuvraj Singh, and Marcus Stoinis.
Andrew Tye, Ben Dwarshius who has a good economy rate of 6.96 in the BBL may act as bowling spearheads during death overs and Powerplays. Mujeeb Zadran, the Afgan bowler is an option when the team wants to look for a spin-all rounder.
Behind the wickets, KL Rahul will be the first choice and Akshdeep Nath will be an alternative player. As Aaron Finch is going to miss out the first game on account of his wedding, Chris Gayle or David Miller may be chosen as opening batsman along with Mujeeb Zadran.
The team let go previous players like Wriddhiman Saha, Shaun Marsh, Manan Vohra, Murali Vijay, Sandeep Sharma, Glenn Maxwell, Hashim Amla, Gurkeerat Mann, and Eoin Morgan. Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, and David Miller were retained by the team by Right to match card.
The team stood in the fifth position in the previous IPL season and did not make the playoffs. They have to play three of their home games at Mohali except for the second match against Bangalore. This is one of the opportunities for the team to make their way to playoffs. They focus more on batting line-up probably as they have to play their home games at shorter stadiums like Indore and Bangalore.
This team will be the seventh team Aaron Finch will be playing for and the first T20 match Ashwin is captaining. The team has the least win-loss ratio of 0.92 after the Delhi DareDevils. The win-loss ratio of Delhi DareDevils since the inception is 0.72.
Ravichandran Ashwin(captain), Akshdeep Nath, KL Rahul, Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis, Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Zadran, David Miller, Barindar Sran, Mayank Dagar, Ankit Rajpoot, Axar Patel, Ben Dwarshius, Pardeep Sahu , Andrew Tye and Manzoor Dar.
Likely playing XI
Ravichandran Ashwin(captain), Chris Gayle, Marcus Stoinis, Yuvraj Singh, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb Zadran, Axar Patel, and Mohit Sharma.