David Miller Kings XI Punjab
David Miller will be wondering what went wrong this season. Pictured: David Miller walks back after being dismissed in the IPL 2016 match between the Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab, April 15, 2016.IANS

David Miller has been relieved of his captaincy duties by the Kings XI Punjab, after a surprise appointment before the start of the season, and the question now will be if the South African will even find a place in the playing XI for Saturday's IPL 2016 match against the marauding Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on Sunday. Murali Vijay will take over, and the new captain has a lot of headaches to sort out ahead of this top-of-the-table vs bottom-of-the-table clash.

While part of the reason behind Kings XI's awful start to the season – they have lost five of their six games – is Miller's woeful form and apparent inexperience in captaincy, the issues with the team run a lot deeper than that.

The batting, as a whole, hasn't worked, with the openers, after a decent start to their campaigns, proving to be a little inconsistent, while there just hasn't been that one batsman who has been able to score 80s and 90s to set the Kings XI up for a massive total.

With Glenn Maxwell looking a little lost – yes, he scored a half-century in the last match, but that has been the exception, rather than the rule – and Miller failing to deduce what that bat of his for is, KXIP have struggled considerably with the willow.

The team would have at least looked a little better and probably crawled over the line in a couple of other games had the bowling, at least, been worthy of talk. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case either, with the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Kyle Abbott and Mohit Sharma unable to find their range consistently enough.

With a new captain at the helm, changes could be afoot in terms of the playing XI, but considering it will be the first game for Vijay in charge with KXIP, it is difficult to gauge what the thinking will be.

Whether Miller keeps his place in the playing XI or not remains to be seen, because his South African compatriot Farhaan Behardien will be itching for an opportunity. Marcus Stoinis is another who really should have played a lot more games than he has in IPL 2016. It might not be a bad idea either to bring in someone like a KC Cariappa and hope the spinner bamboozles the Gujarat Lions batsmen, who, unlike KXIP, have been in rip-roaring form.

Vijay might also consider giving Vohra a break and giving an opportunity to Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who, not too long ago, was a part of the India setup, but hasn't been able to find a way into the Kings XI team.

Coming off consecutive last-ball victories, the Lions will be raring to go and notch their seventh win in eight matches. To do that, the Gujarat Lions are likely to go with the same playing XI, with the only possible change looking like being Pravin Tambe coming in for the Paul Adams-like bowler Shivil Kaushik.

Aaron Finch is still recovering from his hamstring problem, and even if he was fit, the Australian, who was in stunning form at the start of the tournament, is likely to miss out, owing to Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum's brilliant partnership at the top.

Expected playing XI: Gujarat Lions: Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan, James Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe.

Kings XI Punjab: Murali Vijay (C), Shaun Marsh, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Nikhil Naik, Axar Patel, Rishi Dhawan, Mohit Sharma, Pardeep Sahu, Sandeep Sharma.

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