Kings XI looking for Final glory
After making it to the semi-finals in the inaugural season, Kings XI Punjab under Yuvraj Singh will aim for nothing less than the title in the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning here Saturday.
They will open their campaign against Delhi Daredevils in Sunday’s double header.
Last year, Kings XI were a low profile team in the league but went about their task efficiently before suffering a batting debacle against Chennai Super Kings in the semi-final.
But this year Kings XI will have plenty to think about as they will miss some of their star performers of last season.
Australian Shaun Marsh, who was the highest run getter, will only be available for the second half of the season as he will be on national duty in UAE against Pakistan.
Also missing in action will be S. Sreesanth, who was involved in the slapgate controversy. Sreesanth took an impressive 19 wickets last year but this time a stress fracture has ruled him out of the tournament.
This will open a window of opportunity for Ranadeb Bose, who moved in after warming the bench for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) last year. Bose had a good domestic season guiding Bengal to the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy this season.
In Sreesanth’s absence, the responsibility will be on left-arm medium pacer Irfan Pathan, who will spearhead the bowling attack.
Kings XI will also be pinning hopes on South African all-rounder Yusuf Abdulla, whose local knowledge of the situation will be an asset for the team.
The focus will also be on Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, who will be using the IPL to come back to the international fold. Lee, who managed just four matches last year, suffered a fracture in his left foot in Melbourne in January and the IPL will mark his comeback.
England’s Ravi Bopara, who was bought in February’s player’s auction, is the latest addition. Bopara is considered as England’s most promising young all-rounder and Kings XI will be hoping some sparks from the Indian origin player.