Jointly owned by Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta and Karan Paul, Kings XI Punjab have been ever-present in the Indian Premier League since its inception in 2008 but are yet to get their hands on the coveted trophy. The Mohali-based franchise have a relatively poor record in IPL history, just twice managing to reach the play-offs and only once finding themselves in the final of the competition which came back in 2014 when they were beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders in a tense encounter.
Despite the lack of success, Kings XI’s home ground the PCA Stadium has been graced by some of cricket’s finest players including home favourites Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Ravi Ashwin. Overseas stars have also been frequent at the Kings XI including Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, while Australian trio Adam Gilchrist, David Hussey and George Bailey all captained the side between 2011 and 2015.
Kings XI’s IPL history is littered with memorable moments with standouts including chasing down a mammoth 206 against the Sunrisers in 2014, as well as defending 116 against the Mumbai Indians five years earlier. Memorable individual performances include David Miller’s brutal 38-ball 100 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013, KL Rahul’s record-breaking 14-ball 50 against Delhi Daredevils two years ago and Yuvraj Singh’s hat-trick against RCB in 2009.
Australia’s Shaun Marsh tops the list of highest runscorers in Kings XI’s history with 2,477 over a nine-year period with the franchise, with current captain KL Rahul the top-scoring Indian with 1,252.
Nine players have hit centuries in Kings XI colours, the first being Marsh in 2008 who hit 115 against the Rajasthan Royals. The highest score is held by legendary opener Sehwag who smashed 122 against Chennai Super Kings in 2014 while Wriddiham Saha and Gilchrist hold the distinction of scoring the quickest hundreds.
When it comes to bowling, Piyush Chawla leads the way with the most wickets during his five-year spell with the franchise, taking 84 wickets in 87 matches while Ankit Rajpoot’s 5-14 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018 is the best bowling figures recorded by a Kings XI player.
No team has taken more hat-tricks in IPL history than the Kings XI with four with Yuvraj the only player in the history of the competition to take two hat-tricks for the same side.
Captain and star batsman KL Rahul is one of the key players in the Kings XI teams having joined the franchise in 2018 after stints at RCB (twice) and Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has been quick to make an impact in red and white, scoring over 1,250 runs in just 28 matches, including 57 sixes as well as topping the run scoring charts for the Kings XI in both 2018 and 2019.
Top-order batsman Karun Nair is an important player for the Kings XI having broken into the national team in 2016 in dramatic style with 303* against England in Chennai. In his inaugural season runs were hard to come by though he did manage a match-winning 34 against Delhi Capitals in a tight victory.
Leading the bowlers is seamer Mohammed Shami who joined the Kings XI in 2019 following four years at Delhi. The right-arm seamer was quick to make an impact with 19 wickets in his debut season including a best of 3/21 in a narrow loss to the Mumbai Indians.
The ‘Big Show’ first joined the Kings XI in 2014 and had a three-year spell, immediately making an impact with a man of the match performance in a six-wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiants as well as picking up the award for the most sixes in the tournament. The Australian sits third in the list of all-time Kings XI run scorers with 1,275 runs having resigned this year for a hefty price tag.
The dynamic West Indies wicketkeeper burst onto the international scene aged just 20 so there was no wonder he was snapped up by Kings XI for 4.2 crore in 2019. He didn’t have quite the impact he would have wanted in 2019, failing to reach 50 in any of his innings but on his day he is a real match winner.
Another West Indies superstar, whose trademark salute celebration will be very welcome at the PCA Stadium is Sheldon Cottrell. With 85 wickets to his name in white-ball international cricket the left-arm pace bowler is an explosive cricketer who will be a pivotal part of the Kings XI pace attack.
The legendary Indian spinner is the man tasked with finally bringing glory to the franchise after he was appointed as Head Coach in October 2019. If his coaching career is half as successful as his playing career in the IPL then he should do just fine. Kumble played in the first three IPL tournaments for Royal Challengers Bangalore, leading the team to the semi-finals in 2010. After announcing his retirement from playing IPL cricket in 2011, Kumble went on to become chief mentor for RCB as they reached the final before spending two seasons in a similar role with the Mumbai Indians in which he helped the side lift the trophy on two occasions.
Chances of Success in 2020?
With Kumble at the helm their chances of winning have certainly gone up but history is firmly against the Kings XI. Just two play-offs reached in 12 seasons represents one of the poorest returns for any IPL side and so it’s no wonder that the bookmakers have them down as seventh favourites, ahead of only the Rajasthan Royals.