Kings XI Punjab made core changes in the team for IPL 2019 by releasing senior players like Yuvraj Singh and Akshar Patel. Though the team comes with a new look, players like Chris Gayle and Andrew Tye are retained by the franchise by their performances in the previous season. They will play their first IPL game at Jaipur against Rajasthan Royals. They retained youngsters like Sam Curran, Nicholas Pooran, and Varun Chakravarty and experienced players like Mohammed Shami and Ankit Rajpoot for this season. Ankit Rajpoot did very well in the previous season. In the first half of IPL 2018, they won five of seven games and finished in the fourth position in the entire tournament. Here are a few overseas players to watch out for in the first game.
He entered the franchise from RCB and added 424 runs from just four innings with an average above 100 and strike rate above 134 with 39 sixes. He is one of the versatile players who changed the picture of the T20I format. He slammed four half-centuries and two centuries in the previous season. One of his best IPL performances is a century from 30 balls against Pune Warriors. He slammed 78 runs from 25 deliveries in his last ODI for West Indies in the recent past.
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
He is one of the best bowlers for KXIP last year and had 14 wickets off 11 games in his account. His economy rate was exceptional in IPL with just under 7 and his techniques are known for troubling versatile batsmen including Virat Kohli. He opens the bowling for Afghanistan and will be the first choice for the management if the team needs a variant spinner since he became sharper in the recent 8-10 months. He is one of the dangerous bowlers to restrict the opponents in the Powerplays and pick wickets during the hour of the need.
- Andrew Tye
Though he is not in good form in the current season, he performed well in the previous season. He might be rested for the world cup after the first half of the season but he is a dangerous bowler whenever the team needs one. He was bought by the franchise for a huge sum of Rs.7.2 crore in IPL 2018 and he made the most for his pay by bagging the Purple Cap for the previous season. He picked 24 wickets from 18 games at an average of 18.66 and economy rate of 8. He lost his place from the Australian side due to poor form but he did a great job for KXIP which makes him the crucial one for the side.
- Nicholas Pooran
KXIP bagged David Miller as a crucial all-rounder but he might be rested by the board keeping World Cup in mind. Nicholas Pooran is a dangerous overseas batsman in the middle order. David Miller might not play the first game for KXIP since he needs to play an ODI for Australia against Sri Lanka on 24th March. He did a great job in Bangladesh Premier League and wants to prove himself in the World’s best T20 League.