With a host of seasoned veterans and a bunch of exciting youngsters in the roster, Kings XI Punjab boasts of an explosive and versatile batting order with multiple players capable of anchoring as well as finishing the innings for the team. But before that KXIP would be hoping to get their opening combination right, so the team gets off to strong starts in their batting effort. With the management spoilt for opening options, we look at the four opening combinations that the team could use over the course of the season.
1. The tried and tested - KL Rahul and Chris Gayle
KXIP’s leading run-scorers last season, Rahul and Gayle are possibly the most obvious choices for the opening slots and will likely be the pair that opens the innings against Rajasthan Royals in the team’s first game of the campaign. Both batsmen possess the ability of taking the game away from the opposition single-handedly and together, they are capable of ripping apart any bowling lineup, making them one of the most dangerous opening pairs in VIVO Indian Premier League.
2. Southern Slaughter – KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal
Childhood buddies and Karnataka’s prodigal sons, Rahul and Agarwal’s chemistry and their experience playing together could be highly beneficial to the team’s cause and it will also provide flexibility as it opens up a spot for an overseas bowler or an all-rounder in the starting XI. Coming off a Man-of-the-Match performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final, Agarwal would be raring for an opportunity to play at the top of the batting order for KXIP this season.
3. Calypso Carnage - Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran
With a strike rate of over 150 in his international T20 career and over 100 sixes in the shortest format of the game, West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran is as dangerous as they come. When paired with the Universe Boss, the Trinidad-Jamaican pair is bound to cause carnage out on the field and make any bowling attack quake in their boots.
4. Punjab De Puttar – Mandeep Singh and Prabhsimran Singh
What could be better than two Punjabis leading the charge for our Shers? The returning Mandeep Singh, who starred as an opener at KXIP in his first stint with the team and the recently acquired hard-hitting, wicketkeeping prodigy Prabhsimran Singh could be an opening pair option. The experienced Mandeep’s composure and ability to carry the innings and the aggressive Prabhsimran’s attacking instinct could compliment each other quite well, giving KXIP a proper Punjabi power-punch at the top of the order.