Spin bowling has historically been a strong suit for Kings XI Punjab in the Dream11 Indian Premier League, with many established names of past and present dorning their colors in the competition. Season 13 of the IPL will be no different for KXIP, with the franchise being coached by one of the greatest spinners of his time- Anil Kumble.
Kumble has a lot of options at his disposal in the spin department, with nine recognised spinners in the KXIP roster. Here’s a look at a few different combinations and what each spinner brings to KXIP this season.
Murugan Ashwin was KXIP’s second most economical bowler last season in the Indian Premier League, and did well in crunch games for the franchise. He has been playing in the IPL for a few seasons now, and brings some invaluable experience and game knowledge to this youngish KXIP side. Another option is the young and very exciting Ravi Bishnoi, who was the leading wicket-taker in the U19 World Cup this year, and could be an X-factor this season in the competition with many players not having played him a lot in the past.
In a pick between youth and experience, it would be interesting to see what Anil Kumble and co. would go for when IPL 2020 begins.
Kings XI Punjab have three all-rounders from that Punjab and Haryana belt in Tajinder Singh, Deepak Hooda and Harpreet Brar. All three of them bring a different dimension and a different skill set to the team. Hooda has been a regular player for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past, and has enough IPL experience under the belt to make a case for himself in that lower middle-order slot, and can also chip in with the ball in hand with his off-spinners.
Tajinder Singh could be another interesting proposition for the Shers, as a batting all-rounder with his ability to play explosive cameos lower down the order. Harpreet Brar played for KXIP a few times last season, and brings an added dimension lower down the order with his spin bowling and batting abilities. Secondly, being one of the two left-arm spinners in the squad this season, Brar offers that added variation to the team.
KXIP traded in Krishnappa Gowtham and Jagadeesha Suchith from Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals respectively ahead of the IPL auctions, adding to the list of Karnataka players in the franchise. Gowtham has been used as a floater in the IPL in the past, and offers a good option for the franchise with his off-spin in the powerplay overs- a role he is akin with from his days at Rajasthan. On the other hand, Suchith offers an option of left-arm spin bowling to the Shers this season, and his fast reflexes make him an asset on the field as well.
Mujeeb ur Rahman is the sole specialist overseas spinner this season for Kings XI Punjab, and has already made a good case for his selection with 16 wickets in the Caribbean Premier League. An undoubted fan favourite, Mujeeb offers that mystery element to this team, with many opposition batsmen still finding it difficult to read him off his hand. However, Mujeeb’s inclusion could curtail the opportunities for other overseas bowlers like Sheldon Cottrell, Hardus Viljoen and Chris Jordan. Therefore, it could be a tough management call to make for Anil Kumble, KL Rahul and others.
In terms of overseas players, Glenn Maxwell offers an added option with his part-time off-spin. The all-rounder has been in great form with bat and ball in the games against England, and KXIP fans would hope for more of the same to continue once he lands in the UAE.
Over to you. Who are the spinners that you think KXIP should start with in IPL 2020? Let us know in the comments below.