Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have had an Indian Premier League (IPL) journey characterised by poor decision-making in the auction and the lack of an impactful leader.
As a result of the administration's failures, they have made the playoffs in only 2 out of the 12 IPL seasons so far. The closest they have come to the IPL trophy was in the 2014 season, where they reached the final only to lose to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
KXIP's underrated IPL players
The franchise co-owned by Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia have had many young up-and-coming players put in their fair share of consistent performers. Cricketers like Sandeep Sharma, Axar Patel, and Wriddhiman Saha shone for KXIP in the IPL without much recognition.
Perhaps due to the lack of success, even legends of the outfit such as Shaun Marsh, who finished as the Orange Cap winner in the first IPL season, haven't got the respect they deserved.
In this article, we take a look at KXIP's 3 most underrated IPL players.
#1 Hashim Amla
It would usually be difficult to make a case for a player who has featured in only 16 IPL games, but the Mighty Hash was incredible for KXIP. In these games in the cash-rich league, Hashim Amla scored 577 runs at an average of 44.38 and a strike rate of 141.77.
He even tallied two tons for KXIP - two scores of 104 in the 2017 edition of the IPL against the Mumbai Indians and the Gujarat Lions. Amla even scored a 96 in the 2016 IPL, but these two seasons remain his only two in the world's most prestigious T20 franchise league.
The South African shockingly went unsold in the IPL 2018 auction and after a legendary international career, retired from all forms of cricket in 2019.
#2 George Bailey
George Bailey led KXIP to the final of the 2014 IPL and although they succumbed to Gautam Gambhir's KKR, they showed a glimpse of what they were capable of. The Australian was appointed captain after many disappointing seasons in a row and he didn't disappoint, scoring 516 runs at a strike rate of 135.79.
The big-hitting batsman notably ran out Suresh Raina in the Qualifier in the lead-up to the 2017 IPL final, picking up the ball with his left and firing in a throw to end the southpaw's incredible innings of 87 off 25 balls. Bailey led from the front with his calm, smiling demeanour and although KXIP weren't successful in the 2015 IPL season, it came as a shock when he went unsold in the next auction.
After joining new franchise Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2016 edition of the IPL, Bailey was expected to light up the tournament once again, but played only 6 games without success. He even captained the Kangaroos in T20Is, but has since retired from the sport.
#3 Manan Vohra
When Manan Vohra joined KXIP as a 19-year-old, big things were expected from him. And although he played 45 games for the Punjab franchise, scoring 957 runs at a strike rate of 132.73, he hasn't quite lived up to his billing.
After 5 moderately successful seasons at KXIP, he switched to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, for whom he played only 4 games, averaging a lowly 13.75.
Understandably, the Bangaloreans decided they didn't want to extend his services, but things worsened for Vohra when he moved to the Rajasthan Royals for the 2019 IPL season and he didn't even play a single game.
The opener is now 26 years old, and time is fast running out for Vohra if he aspires to represent India.