The Kings XI Punjab have a unique blend of youth and experience combined with a spirit to perform. Adam Gilchrist and David Hussey lead a side that has a few international stars and youngsters waiting to make a mark on the big stage. Now, they have Darren Lehmann in their ranks as a coach and it rekindles memories of Deccan Chargers fantastic triumph of 2009 as he partnered Gilchrist in that remarkable triumph.
Hussey, Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh will be their frontline batsmen. Mandeep Singh, the star of the last season would also be expected to do more this time around. Then you have the other Indian youngsters such as Nitin Saini, Paul Valthaty, Gurkeerat Singh Mann to name a few. That makes Punjab a solid batting line-up and they have the all-rounder Azhar Mahmood to back it. Mahmood’s inclusion gives them fantastic balance as he can contribute with both bat and ball.
In the bowling department, they have Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana, Piyush Chawla and Bhargav Bhatt doing the duties. Ryan Harris is the overseas fast bowler but it would be interesting to see how he gets a game with the other foreign players around. David Miller, Dimitri Mascarenhas (Pronounced Mas-kuh-rain-haas) and Luke Pomersbach are the other foreign players in the side.Bangalore bank on the likes of Gayle, Kohli, Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers to deliver the goods with the bat. The Indian players such as Saurabh Tiwary, Vijay Zol, Mayank Agarwal to name a few give them more options. But, one gets the feeling that they are heavily dependent on their international stars, particularly Gayle as he has had a huge impact on their fortunes in the last two years. The opposition tries to get him early as that can send jitters in the Bangalore camp.
With three frontline foreign players being batsmen, Bangalore usually use only one overseas star in the bowling. With Daniel Vettori not leading the side anymore, they have more options with Muttaih Muralitharan, all-rounders Moises Henriques, Andrew McDonald and Daniel Christian in the roster. The other great thing is that they have a quality Indian spinner in Murali Karthik and one can expect him to get a few games.