The VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) is yet to begin but the Kings XI Punjab recruits have already been making waves. The pride of Punjab this season includes a number of entertainers who can turn the game around single-handedly and they proved that in the build up to the league. We take a look at some of these players who made their teams proud in the month of February and left fans drooling at the prospect of seeing them in action for the Sher-e-Punjab.
The Kings’ new M-Factor
After the successful Miller-Maxwell partnership for Kings XI Punjab in previous editions of the IPL, there is an all new M-Factor which the team can now look forward to - Mujeeb Zadran and Mayank Agarwal.
Zadran recently became the youngest bowler in history to claim 5 wickets in an innings in an ODI, eclipsing previous record holder Waqar Younis by almost a year and a half! He finished with 12 wickets from 5 ODIs in the recent series against Zimbabwe which included his record-breaking spell of 50 for 5 from his ten overs. His mystery spin is extremely difficult to read, and there is a long way to go before anyone can even think of decoding this Afghan enigma.
At the age of just 16 years and 325 days, Mujeeb Zadran becomes the youngest player to take a five-for in ODIs, beating @waqyounis99 who took his first at 18 years and 164 days! #howzstat #AFGvZIM pic.twitter.com/U6G2dL6CBW— ICC (@ICC) February 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Mayank recently scored 2141 runs for Karnataka making him the highest scorer in an Indian Domestic season. He had an extremely successful run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, which saw him score 3 centuries and 4 fifties. His average of 76.46 in the tournament was overshadowed only by his average of 105.45 in the Ranji Trophy. Along the way, he even managed to smash a career best 304* against Maharashtra. He is now in peak form and will look to go all guns blazing when he wears the KXIP colours in a couple of months.
Karntaka's Mayank Agarwal continues to be in ridiculous form this season!— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 27, 2018
Scores in Vijay Hazare Trophy: 77, 109, 84, 28, 102, 89, 140, 81 and today 90https://t.co/YAJQKqbzRm pic.twitter.com/dq77ftK150
Finch Borders on greatness
Aaron Finch was awarded for his consistent efforts with the bat as he won the Best Australian T20I player award at the Allan Border Medal night for the second time running this year. He scored a fighting 36* off 14 deliveries as Australia chased down an imposing 244 runs in the Trans-Tasman T20I Tri Series. He also put to rest any doubts about his form post injury after scoring 151 off just 122 balls against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield.
For the 2nd time, #likeABoss, @AaronFinch5 wins T20I short-form player for Australia at the 2018 Allan Border Medal night. #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #ABMedal pic.twitter.com/cHcLfowpBf— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) February 12, 2018
KXIP’s three Lions from Karnataka, K.L Rahul, Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal gave fans a glimpse of what to expect as they played pivotal roles in the team’s Vijay Hazare Trophy victory. Led by Karun Nair, Karnataka beat Saurashtra by 41 runs in the final to lift the trophy for the third time in five years. Mayank Agarwal capped off a superlative season by stroking a match-winning 90 in the final.
That's it! Saurashtra are bowled out for 212 and Karnataka are the #VijayHazareTrophy2018 Champions! Congratulations to @mayankcricket, @karun126 and @klrahul11! Well played sheron! #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) February 27, 2018