IPL 2019: Three biggest match-winners for Kings XI Punjab
The IPL auctions are done and dusted, and the teams are all ready to go. Every team has some players who could potentially play a significant role in how far their team goes in the tournament.
Here is a look at three such players of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) who have the potential of winning matches for their team single-handedly:
Christopher Henry Gayle, or the Universe Boss as he likes to be addressed as, is a heavy weight as far as T20 cricket is concerned. He still carries the record of most runs in an innings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
He started his career with KKR in 2008, and since then he has played for RCB and now he is a part of KXIP. KXIP bought Gayle only last year, and he wreaked havoc. He scored big runs and helped the Punjab team win a couple of matches simply on his own.
If he can replicate that form in this season as well, he will be worth much more than he was bought for. He is a destructive batsman at the top of the batting lineup and that is something that the world already knows, but partnering with KL Rahul, another aggressive opener, makes the KXIP top order extremely lethal. There is no doubt that Chris Gayle is a runaway match winner.
KL Rahul is Gayle's partner and much like Gayle, has a very positive and aggressive style of batting. Even if Gayle fails, Rahul's good touch can save the team on any given day. He proved how well he can score when he opens the batting in the last season.
Rahul is a very crucial entity for KXIP and they will hope that he fires and fires on all cylinders. However, currently Rahul is going through a very bad patch where runs are maintaining a safe distance away from him, but KXIP will hope that Rahul will get his form back and score big runs once the tournament begins.
If that happens, it will also make a strong case for his inclusion into the Indian world cup squad. So overall, KXIP have a perfect opening combination who can turn matches at their will once they get going.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is an Afghani mystery spinner just like Rashid Khan, with the same lethal variations. Last year he was a find for the Punjab franchise. He took 14 wickets in the 11 outings at an average of a little over 20, the fifth best throughout the season.
He can be very tricky to pick for any batsman and probably has a long career ahead and KXIP have done well to invest in such a young spinner from Afghanistan. In the short international career that he has had, he is already number 8 in the ICC ODI bowler's rankings.
KXIP also possess some other players like Andrew Tye and Mandeep Singh who also have the potential to change matches individually and make a big difference. There is also another young spinner that KXIP have invested in heavily this season. He is the mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu, Varun Chakaravarthy. He also has a lot of potential as his domestic numbers show and might prove to be a match winner himself.