This will be the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League...but Kings XI Punjab is yet to take the glorious trophy home. Will 2020 finally be their year?
KXIP are one of just three teams in the IPL which haven't tasted the joy of winning the title. Their best-ever performance came in 2014 when they reached the final but couldn’t get past Kolkata Knight Riders. Normal service resumed subsequently, with the franchise usually finishing in the bottom four.
This year, Punjab named their opener KL Rahul as the new captain after former skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was traded to Delhi Capitals.
Let's have a look at the KXIP squad which boasts some solid purchases at this season’s auction and evaluate their chances in IPL 2020:
KL Rahul (captain and wicketkeeper) Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Nicholas Pooran (wicketkeeper), Prabhsimran Singh (wicketkeeper).
Head coach: Anil Kumble
Assistant coach: Andy Flower
Batting coach: Wasim Jaffer
Bowling coach: Charl Langeveldt
Fielding coach: Jonty Rhodes
Physiotherapist: Andrew Leipus
Strength and conditioning coach: Adrian Le Roux
Punjab have a strong overseas list with the inclusion of Glenn Maxwell, Chris Jordan and Sheldon Cottrell. Maxwell had lit up the UAE leg of the IPL during the 2014 edition and the franchise would be hoping for a repeat from the Australian who is in great form after hitting a match-winning ton against World Cup winner England.
Also, the big positive for this side is the understanding between Kumble and Rahul, both of whom are from Bengaluru, which should help the team.
Besides, they also have a strong Indian core from the same Ranji team. KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Krishnappa Gowtham and Karun Nair have all been part of the Karnataka side.
Also, Rahul has been in terrific form of late for India, and Punjab will hope he continues in the same style, with the added motivation of leading the team to the title in the 13th attempt.
When it comes to fast-bowling, Punjab has the likes of Mohammed Shami, Hardus Viljoen, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan in their ranks. It's safe to say that this fast-bowling line-up looks impressive on paper.
One of the things which can go against Punjab is a potential struggle to get the combination right, considering they have made some new additions. Gayle's recent form hasn't been that great and another under-par performance could add pressure on Maxwell and Rahul.
In case the likes of Rahul, Gayle and Maxwell fall cheaply, the middle order is slightly weak despite the presence of Mandeep Singh.
When it comes to bowling, the side just has one big name as a spinner and that is Afghanistan's Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman.
However, KXIP will hope for a change in fortunes with a rejigged set of support staff that includes Anil Kumble, Jonty Rhodes, Wasim Jaffer and Andy Flower - all sharp thinkers of the game - for the upcoming season.
With the current edition being played in the UAE, the side would hope to reclaim the magic of the 2014 season when they finished runners-up. The first leg of that season was played in the UAE and KXIP managed to win all their matches during that phase.
Nobody rates Punjab among the lead contenders and that might just work in their favour. A spirited performance this time can lead them into the playoffs. And you never know -- this bunch can do what some of the best in the business couldn't for the Mohali-based outfit in the last 13 years!
Kings XI Punjab will lock horns with Delhi Capitals in their first match of the tournament on September 20.
KL Rahul (C)
Chris Gayle (F)
Glenn Maxwell (F)
Chris Jordan (F)
Mujeeb ur Rahman (F)
DC vs KXIP 20 Sep, Sun (1930) Dubai
KXIP vs RCB 24 Sep, Thu (1930) Dubai
RR vs KXIP 27 Sep, Sun (1930) Sharjah
KXIP vs MI 1 Oct, Thu (1930) Abu Dhabi
KXIP vs CSK 4 Oct, Sun (1930) Dubai
SRH vs KXIP 8 Oct, Thu (1930) Dubai
KXIP vs KKR 10 Oct, Sat (1530) Abu Dhabi
RCB vs KXIP 15 Oct, Thu (1930) Sharjah
MI vs KXIP 18 Oct, Sun (1930) Dubai
KXIP vs DC 20 Oct, Tue (1930) Dubai
KXIP vs SRH 24 Oct, Sat (1930) Dubai
KKR vs KXIP 26 Oct, Mon (1930) Sharjah
KXIP vs RR 30 Oct, Fri (1930) Abu Dhabi
CSK vs KXIP 1 Nov, Sun (1530) Abu Dhabi