Sunrisers Hyderabad’s defeat against Mumbai Indians now means that Kings XI Punjab are the only unbeaten side left in IPL 2017. They beat Rising Pune Supergiant in Glenn Maxwell’s first game as captain and followed that up with another comfortable home victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore despite AB de Villiers’ heroics.
They will be looking to make it three wins in a row when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their first away game of the season on Thursday (April 13).
In the 11th match of IPL 2017, Kings XI Punjab take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Here is the possible playing XI for Kings XI –
Hashim Amla might have opened the innings for the first two games for Punjab in the absence of Martin Guptill and Murali Vijay, who are both injured, but he has certainly done more than enough to keep his place in the side. While the game against RPS saw him score a run-a-ball 28, against RCB he shone through with an unbeaten fifty to help Kings XI make it two wins out of two.
Manan Vohra is undoubtedly one of Kings XI’s finest young prospects. The 23-year-old has shown time and again that he has the potential to be one of the stars of the side and with an average of over 25 and strike rate of 125, he has been consistent in T20s as well. In IPL 2017, he is yet to get that big knock but he has got a start in both games and will be looking to make it count sooner rather than later.
Wriddhiman Saha is a curious case as far as Kings XI is concerned. He is arguably one of the first names on the teamsheet despite the fact that he doesn’t feature in India’s limited-overs squad. However, he does have a brilliant record for Kings XI Punjab and the flexibility that he provides Kings XI is invaluable. His keeping skills have only gotten better as well.
Glenn Maxwell was given added responsibility ahead of IPL 2017 as he was entrusted with the captaincy of the side, despite having never captained previously in a first-class, List-A or T20 game. So far though, he has flourished under the responsibility and is yet to be dismissed in the tenth edition of the IPL, having scored two unbeaten forties in two successful chases.
David Miller might not have had much to do in the second game against RCB but batting at No.5 he holds an incredible responsibility at the Kings XI side. The fact that he doesn’t bowl means that all the emphasis is on his batting and he has shown that he is certainly good enough and back up his skills on the field as well to be picked as a finisher in the side.
Marcus Stoinis may not be a world-beating all-rounder in the mold of Dwayne Bravo but he is an integral part of the Kings XI set-up because of the flexibility that he affords the side and his capabilities with both the bat and the ball. So far he hasn’t been required with the ball but he has still contributed with the ball and the fact that he can both open and operate as a finisher gives them more options.
Axar Patel is the side's premier all-rounder and has been entrusted with further responsibility in IPL 2017. Not only is he the side’s first-choice spinner who bowls anytime the captain needs a wicket but he has also been promoted to the top order when he can construct an innings and not just have to smash from ball one. So far, he hasn’t made the most of that with the bat, but with the ball, he has been incredibly economical and effective as well.
Mohit Sharma may not be the bowler he was during the 2015 World Cup but he is still the leader of the Kings XI pace attack and arguably their only weak link so far because he has been hit at during the death overs. If his poor form continues he could well be dropped but not for the game against KKR on a deck that is likely to assist the pacers.
Varun Aaron surprised everyone after being bought for a huge amount after he was released by RCB. There was even more surprise when he replaced Swapnil Singh for the game against his former side, RCB. He certainly repaid the faith as he finished with figures of 2/21 in is four overs and will keep his place against KKR on a pitch that is expected to favor the fast bowlers.
Sandeep Sharma may not be playing for India but he his form over the past few years in the IPL have shown just why he is arguably the ideal bowler that you would want in a T20 side. Not only can he swing the new ball but he is also equally effective at the death overs, with his yorkers and effective variations.
Thangarasu Natarajan was compared to Mustafizur Rahman after his incredible exploits in the inaugural Tamil Nadu Premier League with his yorkers and an action similar to the Bangladesh fast bowler. So far, he hasn’t been given a similar role by the Kings XI due the fact that they already have two death bowlers in Mohit and Sandeep. But since Mohit hasn’t been as successful, Nattu might get to bowl at the death against KKR.