KXIP- A force to reckon

Prior to the commencement of Pepsi IPL edition 7, much was spoken about teams like Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore about their strategies and clinical chances of winning the league. Though CSK have given no room for criticism as they stand high in the table, MI and RCB have invited a lot of criticism on their captaincy and their game-play. But nobody ever knew that there is a team from Punjab which can also create miracles and ride high in this edition of IPL.

Co-owned by ever smiling and charming Pretty Zinta, KXIP’s previous IPL outings were good but forgettable as they always choked at crucial times. Whenever they looked dangerous, they always failed to give Pretty her prettiest present. But, this year it totally looks a different prospect altogether for the Kings11 with mentor Sanjay Bangar building a formidable prowess. The team went for complete reinforcements from captaincy to other aspects of the team. The leadership switched from one Aussie to another as George Bailey took over from Gilly (Adam Gilchrist) who decided to hang up his boots the previous season. Though he couldn’t give the franchise and his fans the much awaited trophy, he had actually won many hearts with his simplicity and had a magic moment when he rolled his arm by picking up the wicket of Bhajji.

Kings11 also snapped up the likes of cunning Mitchell Johnson, medium-pacer Rishi Dhawan, powerful Virender Sehwag and squash bucker Glenn Maxwell. And it was disastrous from Mumbai Indians as they never thought of holding Maxwell who is at present making headlines in every match played by the Red brigade. The ‘Million Dollar Baby’ tag never looked in force for the Men in Blue as he played only 2 games for them. New Year, new franchise, but complete different Glenn Maxwell has stirred this season of IPL with his superlative performances with the bat. The Boundaries have looked way smaller time and again for the Aussie and he has been in song from the very first game in Dubai. The Kangaroo is well supported by the retained David Miller, also known as ‘Killer Miller’. Rightly so, his batting has been extraordinary but due to Maxwell’s charisma, he has been considered the second best. Well, one cannot leave the Nawab Of Najafgarh (Viru), behind the game as his crackers can explode anytime with the bat. A perfect leader leading from the front for KXIP and cool as a cucumber, Bailey has been handy so far with his willow and tactics. He is been well supported with his bowling department with Johnson, Balaji, A.Patel, Dhawan and young blood Sandeep Sharma who looks in contention for the purple cap. The seamer is leading the bowling attack and is traumatizing with his classical out-swingers.

In my opinion, KXIP has been best in all the aspects of the game. Batting has been their strong force with ‘M’ factor- Maxwell and Miller creating havoc. Much of the eyeballs are on Talisman Maxwell though, but Killer Miller is looking dangerous too. Virender Sehwag’s dynamos have been lit up time and again but it hasn’t lasted for long. He definitely has got starts but needs to capitalize more. Saha has been cheeky with his bat and keeping abilities. They look over-dependent on talented Sandy with Johnson, Balaji and Awana not producing much prodigy. The spin-twins Akshar Patel and Shivam have looked good, often foxing the batsmen. Bailey’s captaincy has been a subject of appreciation and has garnered a lot of fan following for his coolness and always a smile on his face.

I definitely feel Miller should be brought up the order to up the ante. Johnson and other seamers have to start producing something different with their attack and he has to be the spear-head. They have made it to the play-offs with the CSK and their confidence is riding high. But, the most important and vital thing comes now for KXIP, can they give their owners the happiest moment? Can KXIP turn their critics down? Can Bangar set an example for promoting Young talent? These answers can only come with time. Frankly speaking, till now it has been a merry time for Pretty Zinta jumping with joy and dancing with delight, I no more can see her sob at the end of this edition. Gear up KXIP as they look “ A FORCE TO RECKON”.

By Rohan Sengupta

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