Kings XI Punjab are one of the teams with the poorest record in the IPL. They reached the semi-finals in 2008 and were the runners-up in 2014, but apart from that, the team produced disappointing performances in every other year.
Some of the players Kings XI bought in this year’s auction are Sam Curran, Nicholas Pooran, Varun Chakravarthy and Mohammed Shami. They retained most of their key players including KL Rahul, Mujeeb Zardan, David Miller and Mayank Agarwal.
This year, the team will be captained by Ravichandran Ashwin and the coach is Mike Hesson.
Kings XI will play their first match of this IPL against Rajasthan Royals on March 25 at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
On that note, here’s a look at the 3 key overseas players for Kings XI in this edition of the IPL.
#3 Sam Curran
20-year-old Sam Curran is one of the most exciting all-rounders English cricket has produced in recent times. He is a left-handed batsman and a left-arm medium pace bowler. He made his first-class debut for Surrey at the age of 17.
He has picked up 133 wickets in 51 first-class matches. He averages 28.70 with the bat in first-class cricket. He has picked 15 wickets from 9 test matches.
Curran made his international debut in mid-2018 against Pakistan. But he came into the spotlight when he was named England's Player of the Test Series against India last year. He made 272 runs and picked up 11 wickets in the series.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) named Curran as one of the five breakout stars in men's cricket in 2018.
He entered the IPL auction with the base price of ₹2 crores and Kings XI Punjab bought him for a whooping ₹7.2 crores. He is expected to open the bowling for Punjab along with Andrew Tye and will bat at the lower-middle order.
It will be interesting to see how he is going to perform in Indian conditions.
#2 Andrew Tye
32-year-old Andrew Tye is a right arm fast bowler, who plays ODI and T20 internationals for Australia. He is famous for the use of the knuckleball and his wide variation of pace. He is one of the most effective bowlers in limited overs cricket.
He has picked 37 T20I wickets from 26 matches. In the recently concluded BBL, he took 17 wickets from 14 matches for Perth Scorchers.
In the IPL, Tye has been a part of Gujarat Lions (2017) and Kings XI Punjab (2018-present).
In 2017, he took a hat-trick on his IPL debut, and he also holds the record for the best IPL bowling figures on debut (5/17). In the 2018 IPL, he won the Purple Cap as he picked up 24 wickets from 14 matches. He has a total of 36 IPL wickets from 20 matches.
He will be looking forward to continuing his good form in the upcoming edition of the IPL too.
#1 Chris Gayle
The 39-year-old Chris Gayle is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen in T20 cricket. Gayle is not so active in international cricket these days, but he has been playing in various T20 leagues across the globe.
He made his comeback to the national side in the recent ODI series against England. He became the Man of the series with 424 runs from 4 matches.
In IPL, Gayle has played for Kolkata Knight Riders (2008-2010), Royal Challengers Bangalore (2011-2017) and Kings XI Punjab (2018-present). In IPL, he has won 2 Orange Caps and 1 Most Valuable Player title.
In IPL 2018, Gayle scored 368 runs from 11 matches at an average of 40.88 while striking at 146.03; he scored a century and 3 fifties. He has a total of 3994 IPL runs at an average of 41.17 and a strike rate of 150.71.
He will be hoping to continue his fireworks in this edition of the IPL too.