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Kings of the North: Punjab



The province of the northern part of India has a franchise in IPL and it is well known for its charisma- Kings X1 Punjab; Featured in the IPL from its inception, KXIP failed to make their mark, other than 2008 and 2014 seasons by reaching semifinals and finals respectively.
  
While there have been a plethora of players featuring for this franchise in the last decade; Shaun Marsh and Manan Vohra are the only two players to be lucky enough to represent KXIP for a long period.

Inheriting the quality of Rajasthan Royals, KXIP has also focused on the development of young Indian talents. Paul Valthaty, Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Singh, Rishi Dhawan are few of the youngsters groomed by KXIP.

With most of the things falling in place for KXIP in 2014, everyone has thought that it was their time to occupy the throne, only till Manish Pandey has shattered their dreams by taking KKR home in the finale.

Kudos to George Bailey for building a "hard-hitting" middle order with the likes of David Miller, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.

9 skippers in 10 seasons pretty much sum up the balance of the team and the reason behind their dereliction.

Ever since 2014, KXIP failed to impress their fans, this season they certainly look to change their fate, and most of their boxes are ticked.

Team composition - IPL 2018

To everyone's surprise, KXIP has retained only one player in the form of Axar Patel for a whopping price of 12 crores. This came as a shock as the management didn't opt to retain neither the services of Sandeep Sharma nor Glenn Maxwell.

KXIP have come out with a strategy, they wanted to buy a captaincy candidate and they get R Ashwin from the marquee list of players.

KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwari, Mayank agarwal, Aaron Finch, David Miller, Yuvraj Singh, Marcus Stoinis and the universe boss Chris Gayle are the batsmen. An amalgamation of Indian domestic youngsters with International star players will be a good bunch of players for Sehwag and Brad Hodge to assist.

Yuvi's return to his den will be an added advantage as he can shift gears at any point of time in a match and also he will be looking forward to this season as he isn't a part of BCCI contract list anymore.

While KXIP made a mistake in the last decade by not choosing a proper skipper after Gilchrist, this year they haven't bought a specialist Wicket-keeper and this is really a concern for the team. The shoes of Wridhhiman Saha will now have to be filled by KL Rahul who was a part-time keeper for the Royal challengers in the earlier editions.

The bowling department will be lead by our knuckle ball specialist from Australia; Andrew tye, while the skipper Ash himself will be a key player in this department; Barinder Sran and Mohit Sharma will play the second fiddle.

The real X-factor in their bowling would be the young sensation from Afghanistan: Mujeeb Zadran, a 17-year old young prodigy will play a key factor trying to rip off the batsmen with his leg breaks.

That said, do KXIP have the fuel to charge themselves to their first ever IPL trophy or will they empty their tank in the middle itself?

The maiden encounter of this season is against Delhi on 8th of April.

Until then, tell us your views on this KXIP side, do they have the fuel or will they fall short?

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