After seven games in the 2020 Dream11 Indian Premier League, Kings XI Punjab find themselves bottom of the pile with just one win to their name. They were well beaten against Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad, but the rest of the games they have been unfortunate to end up on the losing side in thrilling contests.
Therefore, in the second half of the competition, KXIP would hope that the rub of the green would be our side to help them string a bunch of good performances together. Like batting coach Wasim Jaffer said, a good performance isn’t very far away for Kings XI Punjab.
Here are five reasons to believe Kings XI Punjab can still turn things around in the second half of IPL 2020.
Opening batsmen in form
The silver lining on Kings XI Punjab’s season so far has been the way opening batsmen KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal’s performances. The duo have amassed two 100+ run opening partnerships so far in the competition, and have five fifties and two centuries amongst them for IPL 2020. Rahul currently is on top in the race for the Orange Cap with Agarwal not far below in second place. With the tournament heading into the second leg, having two openers in form who are able to assess the conditions well and score runs freely could be a big bonus for Kings XI Punjab.
Improved death bowling
Death bowling has been a cause for concern this season for Kings XI Punjab, and that is what practically cost them in the games against Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. However, that aspect of the game has improved for KXIP since the past two matches. In the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they conceded just 41 runs in the final five overs while picking up six wickets.
In the game against KKR, the bowlers conceded just 14 runs in the final two overs, despite having Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik at the crease. More importantly, it was good to see both Arshdeep Singh and Chris Jordan bowl in the right places at the death- full length outside off-stump, earning the praise of Captain Punjab. Anil Kumble and the rest of the management would hope that this is a sign of things to come for the future.
Dejavu for Anil Kumble
KXIP fans can take heart from the fact that their Head Coach Anil Kumble has been in similar positions in the past, and managed to get his side out of that rut. Back in 2014, Kumble was the mentor of Mumbai Indians and the franchise lost five of their opening seven games, but managed to turn things around in the second half of the competition to make it to the semifinals. He was in a similar situation as a player as well, where his Royal Challengers Bangalore side had just one win from the first five games, but managed to make it to the finals after winning their final four league games.
One area of the game where Kings XI Punjab have been exceptional this season has been their fielding. Under the tutelage of the legendary Jonty Rhodes, KXIP have been quick and energetic on the field, with one of the players arguably producing the best moment of the tournament so far. With a young core of players who are focused on their fielding, Kings XI Punjab would hope that they will have a turnaround in fortunes soon.
Youngsters performing well
The young players of Kings XI Punjab-especially Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi have really come into their own in the past couple of games. Apart from these two, there are many others like Ishan Porel, Deepak Hooda and Tajinder Singh waiting in the wings, fresh to play when given a chance. With the youngsters peaking at the right time for KXIP, the second half of the group stages of the 2020 IPL could be very different.
Very encouraging displays from two young men. Ravi Bishnoi continues to impress and Arshdeep Singh held his nerve so well. Was a very difficult time to bowl.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 10, 2020
What do you think? How will KXIP fare in the second half of IPL 2020? Let us know in the comments below...