Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) is one team that has got the tag of being consistently inconsistent. Apart from reaching the finals in 2014 and the semifinals in 2008, they have had a premature exit in all other seasons in the league stage itself. Despite having good players and potential match winners, KXIP have not been able to do justice to their ability.
The major reason for their repeated failures is that they have fiddled far too much with their core group. They remain the only team to change their captain every season. 2018 will be no exception for KXIP as they are looking for a new skipper this year as well.
Here are four players who can be KXIP’s choice for captaincy in IPL 2018.
If Kings XI decide to nominate Yuvraj as their captain, one circle of life will be completed. Yuvi was Punjab’s Captain in the inaugural season of the IPL. In 2018, the league has completed its first round and has stepped into the second.
However, the chances of Yuvi getting the captaincy remain dim. The southpaw has not been able to live up to expectations in the IPL. Even after the first season in 2008, he was removed as Punjab’s captain. The player being in the fag end of his career, it is highly unlikely that KXIP will take this gamble.
Ravi Ashwin was picked by CSK in 2009 but he only played two matches that season. In the following year, Ashwin made his mark by picking up 13 wickets for his franchise. This year, Ashwin has been picked by KXIP for ₹7.6 crores, which culminates his 9-year long association with CSK. The amount that KXIP paid for him throws weight behind the claim that they may be considering Ashwin for captaincy.
Ashwin is no newbie when it comes to captaincy. After making his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in December 2006, it only took the off-spinner one year to lead the side. Ashwin has also captained Dindigul Dragons in the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
KXIP is a team that has never shied away from handing over the captaincy to overseas players. If they are looking for the same, Finch will be their best bet. Along with Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch will provide solidity to KXIP in their top order. Finch has been in sublime form in the ODI series against England and has done wonders for Australia as an opener.
He comes into the IPL with prolific captaincy experience behind him. He captains the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL.
He was named the captain of the Australian national T20 team and was the stand-in captain in the ODIs against New Zealand as well. Finch has also led the Victoria Bushrangers in the Champions League.
KL Rahul is indeed one of the most promising rising stars of Indian cricket. He missed the previous edition due to shoulder injury but will be back in action in IPL 2018. The fact that KXIP have paid ₹11 crores for him, indicates two things:
1) KXIP expect Rahul to be their full-time keeper.
2) They see the makings of a Captain in the Karnataka lad.
At the moment, Rahul seems the most likely choice to captain KXIP. The only impediment in his path is his fitness. It is common knowledge that he is prone to injury. God forbid, if Rahul gets injured mid season, he will leave KXIP in the lurch.