Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)
Out of the eight franchises of the Indian Premier League, only three sides have never lifted the silverware. But out of those three, Kings XI Punjab is the side who perhaps has been the most unconvincing over the years. The team from Punjab has made only two appearances in the playoffs, and only once they have made it to the finals. The Kings have experimented with their squad quite a lot, and have had a bunch of skippers.
But nothing has worked out for them so far. In 2020, they will have yet another new skipper in KL Rahul. But the start wasn’t bad for the side that is co-owned by Preity Zinta. With the-then in-form Yuvraj Singh in their squad, Kings XI Punjab made it to the semi-finals in the very first season of the tournament. However, they failed to make it to that stage in the next five seasons. They had their best ever season in 2014, where the George Bailey lead side made it to the finals.
Let us get some more information on Kings XI Punjab:
Though Bollywood superstar Preity Zinta is the most prominent face in Kings XI Punjab’s owner’s box, the team is currently co-owned by four different people. Besides actress Zinta, Ness Wadia, Mohit Burman, and Karan Paul are also associated with the team. Burman, who is the director of Dabur and also the managing director of Elephant Capital plc., is the majority shareholder of the side. Wadia, who happens to be the managing director of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation. Karan Paul, who owns 6% share of the team, is the chairman of Apeejay Surendra Group.
Just like Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab’s logo also features lions. However, unlike CSK, their logo has two roaring lions. KXIP has been using the combination of red and silver for their jersey since the inception of the tournament. They play their home matches in Mohali’s PCA Stadium and have a second home in Indore’s Holkar Stadium. They have also played in Dharamshala for a long time. They have a trendy theme song in ‘Dhoom Punjabi’.
Kings XI Punjab made a great entry in IPL by entering the semi-finals in the very first edition of the tournament. However, they lost to Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s Chennai Super Kings in the semis. Then came six seasons of utter mediocrity, which saw them consistently failing to finish the league stages in the top half of the points table. In 2009, the side narrowly missed out on the semis.
But things went for a toss in 2010, when they finished at the very bottom of the points table. They made some sort of a comeback in 2011 but failed to make it to the semis. The next seasons were unimpressive, and Punjab had to wait till 2014 to get to the playoffs. Captained by Australian batsman George Bailey, Punjab was very impressive in the seventh season of IPL.
Though they were defeated by Kolkata Knight Riders in qualifier 1, they made it to the finals by winning the qualifier 2 against Chennai Super Kings. The final was a very closely contested one, with Kings XI in the driver’s seat for most of the game. However, KKR eventually managed to win the trophy. Then came the season of doldrums yet again, as Punjab finished last in the next two seasons. They were good in 2017, but not good enough to make it to the playoffs. However, their 2017 season was better than their outings in 2018 or 2019.
#Key Players and Coaching Staff
Punjab started the IPL on a good note as they made it to the semis in 2008. In that season, Australian batsman Shaun Marsh was the star of the show for the side from Punjab. The Indian pace combination of S Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan worked in fine-tuning as well. In 2009, two Sri Lankan legends in Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were effective for Punjab.
In the 2014 season where they almost got their very first trophy, Glenn Maxwell was on fire. He was by far the most destructive batsman of that IPL. They also had a very cunning bowler in Sandeep Sharma. The current KXIP team revolves around the batting trio of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. To support them, Glenn Maxwell is back in the team.
Mohammed Shami leads the pace attack of the side, whereas Afghan teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman is the spin general. Punjab has roped in former Indian team’s head coach Anil Kumble for the upcoming season. Wasim Jaffer has been appointed as the batting coach, whereas legendary South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes is the fielding coach. Courtney Walsh is the talent scout.